Iowa’s workforce and economy showed strong growth over the past year, according to a new federal report. Sam Jones, regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, says Iowa’s seen across-the-board gains in a host of industries and he calls the Hawkeye State a shining star for the Midwest.
Jones says Iowa’s August unemployment rate was three-point-six percent compared to a national average of four-point-seven percent. Iowa’s figure was down one-point-one percent from its most recent peak. He says “Iowa’s doing something right. A year ago at this time they were at four-point-five percent so, corn’s not the only thing that’s growing in Iowa.”
Jones says Iowa’s seen tremendous job growth in the past 12 months. He says Iowa added 28-thousand-700 jobs statewide between August of 2005 and August of 2006 in all categories of industries. Leaders include 52-hundred new jobs in construction, 53-hundred jobs in manufacturing and 46-hundred jobs in education and health care. Other industries where Iowa saw gains include: transportation, utilities, financial and hospitality.
Over the past year, Jones says Iowa also saw a gain of 29-hundred jobs in government. He says those are likely jobs that had gone unfilled over the last few years but are finally being staffed. Jones credits rising tax revenue — from sales taxes, income taxes and business taxes — as governments recover from the 2000 recession along with the rest of the economy and they’re also benefiting from the tax cuts of August of 2003. He says “Government at all levels, down to the municipal level, are benefiting from the robust economy.”