A survey finds Iowa’s economy "steaming along" into exceptional territory for the just-ended month. Ernie Goss, an economist at Creighton University, says boosts in farm income are trickling down to many other areas of Iowa’s economy.
Goss says for March, the survey of supply managers and business leaders in Iowa was up for the third straight month in the "very good" range, indicating solid growth statewide. He says the bad news in the report was that inflationary pressures are picking up as well. Goss says many Iowa farmers are seeing excellent prices for corn, soybeans and beef.
Goss says "That’s pushing farm income up and that’s spilling over into the rest of the economy. Of course, you’ve got ethanol production. Those plants are hiring workers. New plants are under construction and those are creating jobs. You put all of that together and Iowa and this part of the nation is growing much better than what we’re seeing on the East and West coasts of the U.S."
New figures were just released a few days ago on Iowa’s jobless rate, which Goss says continues to inch downward. He says: "The employment picture is very good for the state of Iowa. In fact, we’re even seeing some shortages of skilled workers in non-urban areas of the state."
He says job growth in Iowa, and in the Midwest — is looking much better than the national average. He says the impact of "excellent farm income" continues to propel the economy in rural areas of the state, which is spilling into urban areas. Goss says the direct and indirect gains from ethanol production remain significant and are having a very positive impact.