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Labor Market Survey

Download the 2014 Labor Market Survey

The Tyler Labor Market Survey is a detailed assessment of the Tyler area labor force. The publication is produced every 3 years, the latest survey was completed in 2014 and is the ninth edition.

You can download our latest labor market survey by clicking on the image to the left.






The Tyler Labor Market Study was conducted October 2013 through March 2014 as a project for the Tyler Economic Development Council and is based on information from the U.S. Census 2010 estimates, American Community Survey, Texas Workforce Commission, Dr. Young’s 2011 Tyler Labor Market Survey and other sources.

The purpose of the survey was to provide labor market information to businesses considering expanding or opening new facilities within the Tyler area. Detailed information concerning the labor market should be helpful in making these decisions.

Numerous aspects of the labor market, such as current status, availability, minimum wage requirements, and demographic characteristics, were examined. This information should enable employers to make more informed and rational decisions regarding expansions and investments in the Tyler and East Texas area.


The Tyler Economic Development Council requested that Dr. Marilyn Young, Professor of Management, The University of Texas at Tyler, analyze the Tyler labor market.  The following is a summary of the results of the 2014 Labor Market Analysis.


Tyler Labor Market

The labor market population (230,722) includes individuals who reside within a 30-mile radius of Tyler and ages 18-64. The total population for Smith County and adjacent counties is 714,439.  Within these East Texas counties, Texas Workforce Commission reports the labor force to be 340,351, as of January 2014.


Hidden Unemployment (5.2%) includes unemployed individuals who are not counted in the unemployment figures.  This group exists because the official unemployment figures only include people who are unemployed, but actively seeking a new employment opportunity.  People who are discouraged and have given up in looking for another job are not counted in the official figures and are considered a part of hidden unemployment (Businessdictionary.com).

Unemployment Status

The estimate of those unemployed and available for work was 88.6% and those unemployed, 11.4%.  This 11.4% includes the official unemployment of 6.2% for the nine-county area and hidden unemployment, 5.2%, including new entrants and discouraged workers. (The official unemployment for Smith County alone in January 2014 was 6.1%).


Characteristics of Unemployed

The majority of those not working from the 2011 Labor Market Survey had either been unemployed less than four months (29%) or over one year (51%).  Their major occupations were in the (1) office & administrative support; (2) sales & related; (3) education, training, & library; (4) food preparation & service related; and (5) construction & extraction classifications.


Available Labor Market

Available labor includes 28.4% of those interested or possibly interested in changing jobs plus unemployment, 11.4%.



The major occupational classifications of employed persons were (1) office & administrative support; (2) sales & related; (3) food preparation; (4) production; (5) transportation & material moving; and (6) construction & extraction.


Employment Status

A majority of the employed labor market, 82.9%, are employed full time. Of those part-time workers, 42% stated they would like to work full time.


Length of Employment

Employees had been with the company on an average of 13 years (median = 10 years) at their present jobs with a range from less than one year to 65 years.


Hours Worked

The employed labor market worked an average of 40 hours a week.  The largest proportion, 51%, worked 31-40 hours per week.


Occupational Skills

Over 30% of the labor market stated they had one or more of the following skills:  data entry, word processing, customer service representative, management, clerical, sales, spreadsheet, secretarial, and bookkeeping.


Unused and Underutilization of Skills

The labor market reported many skills which were not utilized.   The skills mentioned most often include management, word processing, painting, service, clerical, data entry, and electronic occupations.


Availability for Employment

The majority, 80%, of the available labor market reported they were interested in full-time employment; 26% indicated an interest in part-time employment.  Also, 85% stated they were available for employment during the day; 25%, evening; and 13%, night.  Many were available for more than one employment option.


Overqualified/Underutilized Employees

Of the employed available labor market, 42% perceived that they were overqualified for their present positions.


Willingness to Train

A wide majority of the available labor force, 78%, stated they would be willing to train for a new job.


Community Patterns


Driving Distance

The available labor market was willing to travel an average of 22 miles one-way to work with a range of one mile to over 50 miles. The average commuting distance for those interested in changing jobs was 23 miles.


Actual Driving Distance

The actual average miles driven were 11 miles for the employed/available labor and 10 miles for the total employed.


Travel Time (Minutes)

Smith County employees traveled an average of 21.9 minutes one-way to work. Employees from adjacent counties spent more travel time commuting with an average of 20.5 to 34.3 minutes.



Non-Smith County Residents

A wide marge majority, 86%, of Smith County residents work in the county.  Of the available labor market, 65% of non-Smith County residents stated they would be interested or possibly interested in working in Smith County. 


Acceptable Hourly Wage

The average hourly wage workers would accept was $12.89.   



Length of Time in East Texas.  A majority, 77%, stated they had lived in            East Texas 10 years or longer.


Age.  The median age of the Smith County employees is 41.2 years.


Education Level.  Only 14.5% (ages 25-64) had less than a high school degree.  Of the total employees, 25%, had a college or advanced degree.


Annual Income.  The average mean salary was $38,150.  Other pertinent income categories are:






Hourly Wage


Hourly Wage

Mean Wage

All Occupations—Smith County





All Occupations—East Texas







Tyler, Texas

Smith County


Per capita income




Median household income





Gender.  The labor market is composed of 49% females and 51% males. 


Ethnic:  The ethnic background of the labor market consists of 65.4%, white (one race); 16.3% black; 16.4% Hispanic, and 1.9% other.


If you are interested in sponsoring the next Labor Market Survey, please contact Victor Valle at (903) 593-2004 ext. 254


Previous Surveys may be accessed by clicking on the following links: