Working + Economy

Business leader: ‘Acute’ workforce shortage means recruiting high school students more vigorously

BY: - September 15, 2021

A crucial workforce shortage in Iowa makes it more important for businesses to meet with high-school students through an existing program, a business leader told the Iowa Rural Development Council Wednesday. Joe Murphy, executive director of the Iowa Business Council, which represents 22 of Iowa’s largest employers, said the council is urging businesses to use […]

DSM airport traffic exceeds projections

BY: - September 9, 2021

The Des Moines airport has seen a typical seasonal drop in passengers but traffic still is running about 90% of pre-pandemic levels, a top official said.  That is higher than expected.  Kevin Foley, executive director of Des Moines International Airport, said ridership has been ranging from 88% to 92% of 2019 levels in recent weeks. […]

FBI agent: Growth of cybercrime ‘unbelievable,’ tougher penalties needed

BY: - September 9, 2021

The federal government is “way behind the times” in fighting cybercrimes and must do more to respond to growing, largely unchecked threats, an FBI agent told the Greater Des Moines Partnership Thursday.  “Our cyber laws are actually way behind the times,” said Ken Schmutz, Omaha-based supervisory special agent and member of the Cyber Task Force […]

Goldman Sachs: 40% of U.S. small businesses don’t have three months of savings

BY: - September 7, 2021

More than 40% of U.S. small businesses couldn’t cover three months of expenses with their current cash reserves, a Goldman Sachs survey showed.  Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Voices program said the results are a “critical warning sign” that might mean policymakers will have to consider additional aid. Small businesses have been a central part […]

Iowa restaurants still seeing record demand as COVID cases rise

BY: - August 31, 2021

Six in 10 people have changed their restaurant habits due to the delta variant of COVID-19, the National Restaurant Association reported Tuesday, and nearly 20% of people have stopped going to restaurants altogether. But not in Iowa. Iowa Restaurant Association President Jessica Dunker said Tuesday that Iowa restaurants are still seeing massive demand, even as […]

State board members back housing tax credits, eye projects in school buildings

BY: - August 23, 2021

Iowa communities could expand workforce housing by relaxing zoning regulations and by remodeling schools and other idled buildings, economic development officials said. The Iowa Economic Development Authority board started work Friday on rules to implement the housing tax credit portion of Senate File 619. The rules set up a competitive process and the types of […]

Iowa unemployment rate and labor force participation go up in July

BY: - August 20, 2021

Iowa’s unemployment rate rose slightly in July, Iowa Workforce Development announced Friday, increasing to 4.1% from the June rate of 4.0%. But the number of working Iowans also increased, indicating that people are returning to the labor force. Between June and July, 6,400 Iowans entered the labor force, according to IWD data, meaning they either […]

Speakers: American Rescue Plan is a chance to match jobs with affordable housing

BY: - August 17, 2021

The American Rescue Plan’s housing assistance gives the Des Moines metro area a chance to address affordable housing issues long neglected by voters and to some extent local officials, Greater Des Moines Partnership panelists said Tuesday.  “We’re in a watershed moment right here and nationally,” said Kris Saddoris, vice president for multifamily development at Hubbell […]

Iowa is one of the nation's top producers of wind energy. (Photo by Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Report: Iowa lost 3,100 ‘clean energy’ jobs in 2020

BY: - August 11, 2021

Iowa lost 3,100 jobs in the “clean energy” and “clean vehicle” industries last year, a new report found.  That marked a 9.7% year-to-year drop in jobs, the first in the six years the Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and Clean Energy Trust have analyzed federal employment data.  The latest Clean Jobs Midwest study found that 28,900 Iowans […]

Iowa employers still struggling to hire as U.S. adds nearly 1 million jobs

BY: - August 9, 2021

Business has been good at Rita’s Cantina. The East Village restaurant opened in the summer of 2020, but thrived during the pandemic with its large, outdoor patio. It’s a popular spot this summer too, owner Jeff Bruning said, enough so that he had to install misting fans to keep customers cool. “When it hit 100, […]

COMMENTARY

Will the GOP embrace workforce-enabling child tax credit?

BY: - August 7, 2021

The Iowa child care crisis continues with an insufficient number of affordable child care facilities available for people throughout the state.  This has a clear impact on the state’s economy, making it more difficult for workers to remain in or join the workforce. The shortage of labor that is currently affecting cities and towns throughout […]

Critics: ‘Big and bold’ infrastructure bill falls short on helping states fight climate change

BY: - August 5, 2021

The Senate is poised to pass a massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that would upgrade state transportation networks, electric grids, water systems and more. It’s a major spending boost and potential job creator that critics say falls short of the administration’s goals to address climate change and reduce its effects in the states. The White […]