Working + Economy

Small Iowa car dealer battles auto giant to remain a GM franchise

BY: - July 5, 2021

A long-simmering dispute between General Motors and a northwest Iowa auto dealership that’s fighting to retain its GM franchise is headed back to court. The dispute centers on an obscure Iowa law that discourages auto manufacturers from terminating franchise agreements with Iowa dealers for breach of contract or poor sales, particularly if those dealers contribute […]

A beacon of hope: Iowa entertainment venues wait for federal funding to hit

BY: - July 3, 2021

Two months after applications opened for federal pandemic assistance, Iowa venues continue to wait for federal money to keep their businesses afloat.  The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, or SVOG, program, will allocate $16 billion to venues across the country as part the federal pandemic aid approved earlier this year.   Robert Warren, executive director of Hoyt […]

Iowa economists: Workforce participation rate still low as U.S. adds 850,000 jobs

BY: - July 2, 2021

The U.S. economy added 850,000 jobs in June, the Department of Labor announced Friday, representing a more significant growth than many economists had anticipated. But two Iowa economists noted that the workforce participation rate nationally and in the state had stalled. Drake University Economics Professor Bill Boal on Friday pointed toward the national unemployment rate […]

‘How in the heck are we this busy this early?’: Okoboji sees large crowds ahead of holiday surge

BY: - July 2, 2021

American travel is expected to surge back to almost-normal levels for the Fourth of July holiday, but businesses in Iowa’s popular Iowa Great Lakes area say crowds have already returned in force. “Every business up here was doing Fourth of July numbers on Memorial Day weekend,” said Matt Richter, part of the family-owned The Three […]

‘We all have to do better’: White House urges locals to boost eviction diversion programs

BY: - June 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — With a national moratorium on evictions set to expire at the end of next month and delays in federal assistance for struggling renters, the Biden administration says it wants to help state and local officials aid Americans on the brink of eviction. To that end, the administration on Wednesday highlighted efforts in Michigan and Philadelphia to […]

Allegiant’s DSM base opens Thursday, four nonstop flights added

BY: - June 30, 2021

Allegiant Airlines will open its long-delayed, $50 million Des Moines base on Thursday. The discount carrier now will offer the most nonstop destinations among airlines serving Des Moines International Airport (DSM), airport spokeswoman Kayla Kovarna said.  Allegiant is immediately adding nonstop flights to Houston, Portland and San Diego. This week, the airline announced it will […]

Biden tries to sell infrastructure deal in trip to Wisconsin

BY: - June 29, 2021

In a trip to the swingiest congressional district in the swing state of Wisconsin, President Joe Biden detailed a bipartisan deal on infrastructure, focusing on how it would help families and workers across Wisconsin and the country.  Speaking from the municipal transit utility in La Crosse, Biden discussed the ways the infrastructure deal will help […]

Jobless Iowans who contracted COVID-19 continue to be denied unemployment benefits

BY: - June 29, 2021

Iowans forced out of work after being sickened by COVID-19 continue to be denied unemployment benefits by the state, while those who voluntarily quit their jobs due to the risk of contracting the virus are collecting benefits. Under Iowa law, workers can often collect state unemployment benefits after quitting a job due to intolerable or […]

Partnership eyes action on airport terminal, water trails

BY: - June 29, 2021

The Greater Des Moines Partnership will push for added funding for a new Des Moines airport terminal and water trails in the area. The organization, the largest chamber group in Central Iowa, also included immigration reform, infrastructure spending and small business support among its top five federal priorities for this year. “We look forward to […]

Des Moines metro projects, including soccer stadium, score $50M in state aid

BY: - June 25, 2021

Des Moines officials needn’t have worried that two massive development projects that include a $60 million professional soccer stadium downtown and a hockey arena at resurgent Merle Hay Mall would harm each other in a competition for state aid.  The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board on Friday gave provisional approval of state aid for those […]

Biden and bipartisan senators clinch a deal on $1.2T infrastructure plan

BY: - June 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House and a bipartisan group of U.S. senators said Thursday they’ve struck a deal on the outlines of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, marking a breakthrough on federal dollars for road and bridge projects after weeks of negotiations — but with significant hurdles still ahead. President Joe Biden stood with the […]

Iowa Supreme Court upholds part of Waterloo’s ‘ban the box’ ordinance

BY: - June 21, 2021

A portion of Waterloo’s “ban the box” ordinance will remain in place after an Iowa Supreme Court decision. The court affirmed the ordinance’s regulation that businesses with more than 15 employees cannot ask about job applicants’ criminal histories until they extend a conditional job offer. The court nullified the section of the ordinance that prohibits […]