Working + Economy

COMMENTARY

Inflation inequality: Poorest Americans are hit hardest by soaring prices on necessities

BY: - January 16, 2022

By Jacob Orchard The fastest rate of inflation in 40 years is hurting families across the U.S. who are seeing ever-higher prices for everything from meat and potatoes to housing and gasoline. But behind the headline number that’s been widely reported is something that often gets overlooked: Inflation affects different households in different ways – […]

COMMENTARY

Sometimes you see the scam coming

BY: - January 15, 2022

I don’t find joy in anyone being swindled, but I do find a bit of irony that the DeVos family, founders of Amway, were bilked out of $100 million. Amway is a pioneer of multi-level marketing, a concept where participants are expected to not only sell something but recruit others to sell it, too. Avon, […]

Iowa businesses unite against human trafficking in new statewide initiative

BY: - January 13, 2022

Iowa launched a new statewide alliance Thursday to combat human trafficking. The Iowa Business Against Trafficking (IBAT) initiative asks Iowa employers to promote awareness of human trafficking prevention resources. Businesses have to do two things each year to participate in the coalition: educate their employees and customers on the signs of human trafficking, and take […]

COMMENTARY

Lurking behind lackluster jobs gain are a stagnating labor market and the threat of omicron

BY: - January 9, 2022

By Christopher Decker The first U.S. jobs report of 2022 showed continued – if lackluster – growth. But perhaps of greater significance for the economic year ahead are two factors that lurked behind the headline unemployment rate: a stagnating labor pool and the impact of omicron. First, the good news. The economy did add jobs […]

Iowa prison official was fired for disclosing inmate phone calls and emails

BY: - January 8, 2022

An Iowa prison official who was fired for disclosing an inmate’s telephone calls and emails is entitled to collect unemployment benefits, a state judge has ruled. State records shows that David Hiedeman was employed by the Iowa Department of Corrections as a senior corrections officer from May 2007 until he was fired in August of […]

Supreme Court appears wary of Biden vaccine-or-test employer mandate

BY: - January 7, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority appeared unconvinced Friday of the Biden administration’s authority to impose a vaccine-or-test mandate on private businesses, casting doubt on a key piece of the White House COVID-19 response. The justices seemed potentially more comfortable with another Biden administration rule to fight the virus that requires certain health care workers […]

Hy-Vee to employ armed ‘retail security officers’

BY: - December 30, 2021

Hy-Vee will employ armed “retail security officers” in stores, the company announced Wednesday. In a news release, the West Des Moines-based grocer said the officers will be “specially trained to defuse situations and equipped to protect the safety of both Hy-Vee customers and employees.”  Officers have started work in several stores, according to the release. […]

Next child tax credit payments dependent on Senate negotiations

BY: - December 15, 2021

Iowa families on Wednesday received what might be the final monthly check from the expanded child tax credit program. The expanded child tax credit program began this summer with the passage of the American Rescue Plan. Families with children received an advance payment from the federal government – $300 a month for kids 5 and […]

Iowa liquor sales reached record high in 2021

BY: - December 14, 2021

Iowa liquor sales exceeded $400 million for the first time in fiscal year 2021, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division reported Tuesday. “The outcomes within this year’s annual report reflect good government planning and execution,” ABD Administrator Stephen Larson said in a news release. Liquor sales between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 totaled $415.8 […]

Unemployment changes to launch early next year

BY: - December 13, 2021

Some unemployed Iowans will ring in the new year with new work search requirements, Iowa Workforce Development announced Monday. The Reemployment Case Management program, which will take effect the week of Jan. 9, will require unemployed Iowans to meet weekly with a career planner and to do at least three other “reemployment activities” each week. […]

GOP leaders prioritize eliminating income tax to address workforce shortage

BY: - December 8, 2021

Legislative leaders told a group of business executives Wednesday that addressing Iowa’s workforce shortage is a top priority in the upcoming legislative session, even as lawmakers disagreed over what might solve the crisis. In an hour-long discussion hosted by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, political leaders from both parties volleyed possible solutions to the worker […]

Nursing home worker who refused to wear a mask is denied jobless benefits

BY: - December 8, 2021

An Iowa nursing home worker who quit her job rather than wear a face mask intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 is not entitled to jobless benefits, a judge has ruled. According to state records, Stephanie Lindsey, a full-time cook for the Luther Manor Communities nursing home in Dubuque, quit her job in May. […]