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Labor Survey

Download the Labor Market Survey Here

The Tyler Labor Market Survey is a detailed assessment of the Tyler area labor force within a 30-mile radius. The publication is a joint project between the Tyler Economic Development Council and Dr. Marilyn Young, Professor of Management at The University of Texas at Tyler and is produced every 3 years in the Fall. The latest survey was completed in 2011 and is the sixth edition.

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




The Tyler Labor Market Survey was conducted during March-April 2011. The research was requested by The Tyler Economic Development Council and is based upon 600 telephone interviews with respondents residing within a 30-mile radius of Tyler and covering nine counties.

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.


Unemployment Status
Of 600 people surveyed, 87.3% were employed; 12.7% were presently unemployed and available for work in 2011-2012. (This 12.7% includes hidden unemployment, such as new entrants and discouraged workers).

Characteristics of Unemployed
The majority of those not working either had been unemployed less than four months (29%) or over one year (51%). The former occupations of these persons were mainly in the (1) office and administrative support; (2) sales and related; (3) education, training, and library; (4) food preparation and service related; and (5) construction classifications.

Available Labor Market
Of the employed labor market, 28.4% were interested or possibly interested in changing jobs in 2011-2012. Therefore, the total available labor market is considered to be those workers unemployed (76) and those who are employed and interested in changing jobs (149), which totals 225, or 38% of the total labor market. However, the remaining 62% may desire to change jobs later.

Types of Employment
The major occupations of the 524 employed persons were (1) education, training, and library; (2) office and administrative support; (3) sales and related; (4) management; and (5) healthcare practitioners and technicians classifications.

Employment Status
A majority of the employed labor market, 82%, was employed full time. Of the 18% employed part-time, 42% stated they would like to work full time.

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

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

Unused and Underutilization of Skills
The labor market indicated many skills which were not utilized. The skills mentioned most often include customer service, sales, word processing, painting, retail, order taker, data entry, and clerical.

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

Overqualified Employees
A total of 27% of the employed labor market and 42% of employed available labor market said they were overqualified.

Distance Willing to Commute
Employees within the labor market indicated various distances they would be willing to travel one-way to work. The average distance for the total available labor market (unemployed and those people who indicated an interest in changing jobs in 2011-2012) was 22 miles. The average commuting distance for unemployed workers was 20 miles.

Distance Actual Commuting
Those workers employed and available are driving an average of 11 miles per day. The average distance driven by total employed workers was 10 miles.

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.

Smith County Availability
Respondents residing outside Smith County were asked if they were interested in working in Smith 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.

Desired Hourly Wage
When employees were asked what the lowest hourly wage they would accept, they gave a wide range of answers. An average hourly wage of $12.89 was computed for those interested in changing jobs. However, those presently unemployed were willing to accept a lower average wage of $11.71 an hour, and the total available reported $12.50 as an acceptable hourly wage.


  • 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 available labor market approximates a normal curve with an average age of 48.
  • Education Level. Only 9% of the total labor market had less than a high school degree. Of the total labor market, 33% had a college degree; 12% of these workers had advanced degrees.
  • Annual Income. The average annual income of workers employed and willing to change jobs was $31,363 and for the total labor market, $44,000.
  • Gender. The total labor market is composed of 50% females and 50% males. Of the available labor, female workers consisted of 52% and males, 48%.
  • Ethnic. The ethnic background was 77%, white; 13%, black; and 8%, Hispanic.


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