While many states saw their economies hurt by rising interest rates, Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says Iowa’s economy bucked the trends and showed healthy growth during December. Goss says the index from the monthly survey of Iowa supply managers and business leaders finds the readings up from the previous month, pointing to good growth in the months ahead with new jobs and new orders.
The sale of Iowa-based appliance giant Maytag to rival Whirlpool was approved by Maytag stockholders in late December. Goss says that action has raised fears of major pending job losses for Newton, the current headquarters for Maytag, though he says much of the state will feel the impact if that happens.
He says a lot of companies supply parts and products to Maytag and that will have ripple effects. Usually for every manufacturing job lost, another spillover job is lost as well, so Goss says it’ll be “significant” given the number of employees Maytag has in Newton. Goss says Iowa saw job growth during 2005 of one-point-seven percent, which he says was above the national average.
That will be down slightly in 2006 but Iowa can still look forward to adding 12 or 13-thousand jobs before July 1st, with one particular growth industry being health care. Goss says Iowa’s leisure and hospitality industry and manufacturing, both for durable and non-durable goods, ended 2005 on a very strong economic note, while Iowa’s transportation sector and construction industry are beginning 2006 on a lackluster path.