The latest statewide survey of business leaders and supply managers found Iowa’s economic picture declining for the third straight month. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the survey covers nine states in the Midwest, and many of them are in the same situation. The index of business conditions shows slowing growth in Iowa, though the economy is still growing, just at a slower pace.
Goss blames higher interest rates and higher energy costs. He says the state and the region had been enjoying robust job growth this year but not so much during September. Goss says September hiring was down from August though Iowa had one of the lowest numbers the state’s registered in a long time, meaning job losses for the month.
He looks to the months ahead with optimism as far as job growth is concerned, as year’s end often means an uptick in seasonal employment. He says some of the job losses may be attributed to the disruption caused by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and he expects some of the negative numbers to turn around in the months ahead. For September, Goss says durable goods manufacturers and firms in the information sector reported upturns in hiring.