Iowa’s nine metropolitan areas are all growing according to a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Shawn Rolland is a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Economic Development. He says economic growth is happening across the state, and Des Moines in particular is experiencing some of the fastest growth in the nation.
The report says the Des Moines area economy grew 7.2 percent from 2004 to 2005. The report claims Iowa’s capital city has the 24th fastest growing economy in the country. Rolland credits Des Moines’ finance and insurance industry. "The state is now home to many insurance and financial giants," Rolland says, "today, 6,100 firms and 81,000 employees (in Iowa) are working in the financial services sector."
Rolland says the economic growth outside of Des Moines is linked to a number of new industries. "We’re seeing growth in renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, and biosciences," Rolland says. The report measures gross domestic product for 363 U.S. cities. Cedar Rapids ranks 57th, with it’s economy growing 5.6 percent; Iowa City, 3.1%, 152nd; Dubuque, 2.8%, 179th; Waterloo/Cedar Falls, 2.7%, 189th; Davenport, 2.4%, 202nd; Ames, 1.7%, 246th; Sioux City, 0.9%, 280th.