An Iowa State University study of the state’s fluctuating economy analyzes patterns in employment — which industries are growing and which are dying. I-S-U economics researcher Liesl Eathington says nearly 80 different types of industries were studied.The study was paid for by the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Eathington says it compared employment growth in the state’s numerous industries between 1992 and ’97.Industries were grouped into eight categories for the study: financial services, telecommunications, computing services, foods and related products, metals and fabricated metals, plastics, printing and publishing, and computing and measuring devices. The financial services group, which includes banks and insurance companies, was the largest in terms of employment. The metals group brought the greatest number of new jobs to the state during the five-year period.High-tech industries tend to flock toward Iowa’s metro areas while more traditional manufacturing industries head toward rural counties. Since the state can’t court all industries, Eathington says conventional wisdom suggests Iowa should direct economic development efforts at industries that will bring the greatest return to the economy.
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