An Iowa State University economist is painting an anemic picture of the economic recovery in the state, in spite of a turnaround since the recession began in 2007.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the Iowa Taxpayers Association, Peter Orazem said the Iowa economy is in better shape than the nation as a whole. But, that’s not saying much. “The long-term rate of growth of employment in Iowa is roughly one-percent per year. We’ve added four-tenths-of-one-percent since 2007 in Iowa,” Orazem said. “Why do we feel we’re doing so well? Because every place else is 1.3 million jobs short.”
Orazem said two-thirds of the state’s job sectors are doing better than in the U.S. overall. He used manufacturing jobs as an example. “Our manufacturing sector is doing better than U.S. as a whole. We only shrank six-percent and the U.S. shrank 15-percent,” Orazem said.
Only half of the job sectors in Iowa have added jobs since 2007. The other half lost jobs at a lower rate than the rest of the country. The bright spot, Orazem said, is in finance and insurance — where Iowa companies added jobs while the rest of the country laid workers off.