Unemployment is at a record low

Iowa’s economy is booming thanks to wise policies, and that impacts our local jobless rates

If you want powerful evidence that Iowa’s economy is doing well, drive around any of the state’s major towns or cities. Almost everywhere businesses have posted “hiring” signs in windows or other prominent places.

Nationally, the unemployment rate is at a remarkable 3.7 percent. Here in the Hawkeye State the jobs picture is even more impressive. In October, Iowa had the second lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 2.4 percent. (Only in Hawaii — with a 2.3 percent unemployment rate — was the employment picture better.)

In the portion of the state served by The Messenger, many counties were doing even better. Here are the October numbers from Iowa Workforce Development for some of them:

• Buena Vista County — 1.6 percent

• Calhoun County — 2.0 percent

• Greene County — 1.5 percent

• Hamilton County — 2.1 percent

• Humboldt County — 1.8 percent

• Kossuth County — 1.5 percent

• Palo Alto County — 1.6 percent

• Pocahontas County — 1.4 percent

• Sac County — 1.5 percent

• Webster County — 2.4 percent

• Wright County — 2.0 percent

In October, Iowa achieved its lowest monthly employment rate since March 2000. The 2.4 percent unemployment rate tied the record monthly low that has been achieved in our state in only four previous months since 1976. (The only times unemployment reached as low as 2.4 percent before this October were December 1999 and the first three months of 2000.)

Gov. Kim Reynolds expressed enthusiasm about this accomplishment in a statement released by her office on Nov. 16.

“This new jobs report is a reflection of the hard work Iowans are doing to keep our state moving,” she said. “Not only has our unemployment rate dropped to this historic low, but we’re also seeing Iowa’s workforce continue to grow. The number of unemployed Iowans continues to drop, and employers keep adding jobs — 21,800 since last year.”

This good news is in part due to the emphasis Reynolds and her predecessor, Gov. Terry Branstad, placed on economic growth and job creation. Their wise leadership has helped make Iowa an attractive place for businesses to locate and grow. The Republican Legislature has also adopted tax and regulatory approaches that make our state an excellent place for companies to invest.

The Messenger applauds the public and private sector leadership that has helped Iowa’s economy to prosper. The future looks very bright indeed.

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