WIOA Job Centers and Service Areas, by State
Two of the basic building blocks of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) are its workforce areas and network of American Job Centers (AJCs, also known as one-stop centers). Both elements have existed for many years, but many states are now reviewing both designations. We present a statistical portrait of these two key components of WIOA’s infrastructure, based on the first available data since WIOA’s implementation.
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Each state weighs various factors in designating workforce areas and situating AJCs, but the two simplest considerations are the size and population of the state. The latest U.S. Census Bureau data on each state’s population size and area in square miles provides common two benchmarks to compare states with each other: to avoid too many decimals, we've presented the results against the ratios per 100,000 square miles, and per million persons aged 18 to 64. We have used this age range to approximate the working-age population, a number which is much more stable than counts of the unemployed or the labor force, on the assumption that the states do not quickly reconfigure workforce areas or open or close centers in response to economic volatility.
For each category, we highlight the top-ranking states (including Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico as states), and sometimes indicate the states at the lower end of the spectrum; the national or state average; and the range from lowest to highest. We also identify some of the patterns that partially explain the results. One state ranks relatively high in the number of AJCs both in terms of square miles and population size: Kentucky.
Note: to facilitate geographic comparisons, we will later add several maps to this resource. We will also update state population figures when the Census Bureau issues 2015 data.
Modified On : November 30, 2015
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