Seventy-one percent of the Middle Peninsula workforce commutes out of the region for their jobs, state reports indicate, with this region ranked last in the state in average hourly wages.
Lewis Lawrence, executive director of the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, discussed that recent finding with the MPPDC board of directors Jan. 23 at commission headquarters in Saluda. Statistics from the Virginia Employment Commission showed that of the total Middle Peninsula workforce, 29,662 workers commuted out of the region’s six counties—including Gloucester and Mathews—and the towns of West Point, Urbanna and Tappahannock for work.
Meanwhile, Lawrence said that only 29 percent of the regional workforce, or 12,156 residents, were actually holding jobs on the Middle Peninsula.
Of the region’s workforce, Lawrence said, VEC reported that 8,118 employees commute to the Middle Peninsula. Coupled with 12,156 employees that live and work on the Middle Peninsula, the report indicated, the total Middle Peninsula employed workforce within the district is 20,604.
A separate report by the Virginia Workforce Connection said that average hourly pay on the Middle Peninsula was $14.18, lower even than hard-hit economic areas like sections of central and western Virginia.