As the national unemployment rate cracked 8% last week for the first time since early in the Reagan administration, a forecast for Iowa’s upcoming quarter holds some promise the state will be insulated from foul job news elsewhere.
Mike Lynch, spokesman for Manpower Incorporated, says the agency’s employment outlook survey for April, May and June is a mixed bag statewide — and in Iowa’s largest city.
Lynch says 16% of employers surveyed in the Des Moines metro area said they’d be increasing staff while 15% plan a decrease. Most of the rest forsee generally staying where they are on staffing.
He says, “We’re not really gaining a lot of ground, just 1% if you look at it numerically, but we’re also not losing a lot of ground.” Lynch says the Iowa city that saw the highest dollar amount of damage from last year’s flooding is in the best shape in the state — and is one of the best hiring spots in the nation.
He says 22% of employers in Cedar Rapids plan to add to their staffs in the upcoming three months while only 8% plan cuts. It ranks Cedar Rapids ninth in the nation as far as hiring intentions. In the Quad Cities, 19% of employers surveyed plan to increase staff in the upcoming quarter, versus a 10% decrease.
Lynch says it’s a similar story on the opposite side of Iowa. In Omaha-Council Bluffs, 19% of employers plan to increase staff during the upcoming quarter and 8% plan for a decrease. Lynch says overall, Iowa’s “holding its own” between a large number of new jobs and a contrary number of positions being eliminated.