The line graph provides a long-term historical trend for total employment in Pottawatomie county. Typically, if a county’s population is increasing, we will also see increasing employment.

Source: Development Opportunity Profile (The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Dec 2018)

Employment Trends

Pottawatomie County is the fastest growing county in the state, with high levels of expansion in the housing market and business sectors. By employer, the two largest industries in the county are Health Care and Educational Services. These two industries account for roughly one third of all jobs in Pottawatomie County. Also, many citizens of Pottawatomie County commute to Manhattan or Topeka for work. Pottawatomie County also boasts low unemployment rates, with an annual average of less than 4% (American Community Survey).

Pottawatomie County Industry Jobs Breakdown (2017 Estimate)

Industry Estimate Percent
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining 460 4.2%
Construction 1,067 9.8%
Manufacturing 1,157 10.6%
Wholesale trade 214 2.0%
Retail trade 1,246 11.5%
Transportation and warehousing, and utilities 426 3.9%
Information 127 1.2%
Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing 554 5.1%
Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services 844 7.8%
Educational services, and health care and social assistance 3,197 29.4%
Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services 671 6.2%
Other services, except public administration 383 3.5%
Public administration 527 4.8%
Industry Breakdown Pie

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Income Trends

Long-term personal income trends, measured in real or inflation-adjusted dollars (where a dollar in 2015 has the same purchasing power as a dollar in 1970) are presented for Pottawatomie county in Figure to the right. Personal income is a critically important indicator of community well-being.

Source: Development Opportunity Profile (The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Dec 2018) 

Personal Income Trends

Average Earnings Per Job & Per Capita Income

Earnings Per Job

Entrepreneurial Profile

Entrepreneurs play a central role in revitalizing community and regional economies. Startup Entrepreneurs are the seeds of an entrepreneurial economy, making up the mouth of the pipeline. Successful startups create opportunities for business growth that generates employment and ultimately drives the economy. One good proxy for startup entrepreneurs is the number of self-employed (where the owner/operator is the only employee). The third line graph shows self-employment trends for Pottawatomie County from 1998 through 2016.

Per capita income (total personal income for the county divided by the number of permanent residents or population) is a good indicator of how well a county is doing. Per capita income in most rural communities is rising because of an aging population. Total personal income includes active earnings (wage and salary earnings) and passive earnings associated with rents, Social Security, retirement, royalties and the like. With aging populations, active earnings may be stagnant but per capita income is rising due to growing passive earnings. Average earnings per job gives us a better indicator of how business owners and workers are doing.

Source: Development Opportunity Profile (The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Dec 2018) 

Stage 1

Stage 1 ventures with 2-9 employees overlap with Nonfarm and farm proprietorships. Typically, statistics on Stage 1 ventures have higher numbers for both number of ventures and employment. This difference is due to the fact that Stage 1 ventures can include small corporations and LLCs that may not be classified as proprietorships.

Growth-Oriented Entrepreneurs comprise an important part of the entrepreneurial pipeline. These entrepreneurs have the desire to grow and have – or are seeking – the market opportunities to turn that desire into a reality.

As a proxy for growth-oriented entrepreneurs, we use employment for Stage 2 ventures (10-99 employees). Figure 17 illustrates what we call Stage 2 Ventures or those employing 10 to 99 employees. These ventures tend to create more jobs and better jobs. There may be less part-time or flexible time situations. Ventures at this size tend to need a stable and productive workforce creating jobs with better compensation, security and benefits.

Stage 2
Stage 3

Breakout Entrepreneurs are very important to both local and regional economies. Ideally, these entrepreneurial ventures create many jobs, stimulate economic growth and increase overall economic prosperity as new employee spending drives retail, service, construction and other sectors of the economy. As part of the entrepreneurial pipeline, communities should focus on those existing businesses that achieve breakout or rapid growth status and create many jobs in the process.

As a proxy for breakout entrepreneurs, we use employment associated with Stage 3 ventures (100-499). Many Stage 3 ventures achieve a certain level of growth and plateau.

Large or Stage 4 Ventures. The U.S. Small Business Administration defines the dividing line between small and big businesses as 500 employees. In rural regions, ventures with this kind of employment are rare and often associated with branch manufacturing plants, regional health care facilities, regional colleges and universities, consolidated K-12 school systems and major energy, power or mining operations.

Stage 4

Pottawatomie County, KS Entrepreneurial Pipeline

Stages Tables

Source: Development Opportunity Profile (The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Dec 2018)