Leaders of Iowa’s largest employers are predicting economic growth over the next six months, but they’re also concerned about an ongoing shortage of qualified workers.
A new survey from the Iowa Business Council (IBC) shows 80% of its members expect higher sales through summer. IBC executive director Georgia Van Gundy says those employers are struggling to attract and retain a quality workforce.
“We have our 2.8 percent unemployment rate and Iowa ranks fourth as far as the number of people already employed in the workforce,” Van Gundy said. “We just don’t have a lot of people to draw from.”
The IBC recently formed a Business Education Alliance to get at the root of the problem. “Our first meeting was great in February. Our members had the opportunity to talk about what their challenges are and we had a great conversation about how we start moving forward,” Van Gundy said.
According to the survey, half of the IBC members say they will increase capital spending and nearly half forecast hiring more workers over the next six months.
(Thanks to Rob Dillard, Iowa Public Radio)