Working + Economy

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 […]

Judge: Fired Polk County official didn’t report wages from second job

BY: - August 4, 2021

When Polk County’s fired human resources director filed for unemployment benefits earlier this year, he reportedly failed to report wages he was collecting from a second, part-time job. According to Iowa Workforce Development records, James Nahas began working for Dowling College (a business name for Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines) in late […]

Iowa child care crisis continues despite legislative pushes

BY: - August 4, 2021

Iowa still has a child care crisis, advocates and lawmakers say, despite legislation approved this year aimed at easing the crunch. The Iowa Legislature passed three bills addressing child care this year, ranging from from changing tax credits to increasing the number of children in unregulated child care facilities. Rep. Tracy Ehlert, D-Cedar Rapids, said […]

Former prosecutor charged with harassment wins jobless benefits

BY: - August 4, 2021

A former Iowa prosecutor now facing criminal charges of harassment for allegedly using his position at work to threaten or extort his ex-fiancée is entitled to unemployment benefits, a judge has ruled. Ryan McCord, 41, was employed as an assistant county attorney for Des Moines County last summer when he allegedly began harassing his ex-fiancée […]

Broadband grant applicants request nearly $300 million

BY: - August 3, 2021

The state has received nearly $300 million in grant applications for the $100 million the Iowa Legislature passed to expand broadband services. A total of 178 applicants requested more than $292 million from the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program. Applications were submitted between July 1 and July 28. Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday that […]

Some Iowa animal shelters fill up as pet adoptions drop, surrenders increase

BY: - August 2, 2021

Animal shelters across the state are seeing fewer pet adoptions as Iowans return to in-person events and work.  Animal adoptions skyrocketed in early 2020 across the country as Americans began working and learning from home, with one in five households acquiring a new pet between March 2020 and May 2021, according to a survey by […]