On September 21, 2010, the Department of Iowa Workforce Development announced that there are 900 more Iowans looking for work than last month, 9,300 more than August 2009. Today, there are 114,200 Iowans, or 6.8% of the civilian workforce, without a job.
From July to August, nonfarm employment in Iowa lost a net total of 2,800 jobs. The sectors of the economy that experienced the biggest hits were government, trade/transportation and leisure and hospitality. If there is anything positive to take away from the latest report it is that Iowa’s manufacturing sector showed a slight increase adding 1,200 jobs in the last month.
The unemployment statistics at the county level show that the southeastern part of the state continues to struggle as 7 of the top 10 counties are contiguous counties along the southeastern Iowa border. The 10 counties with the largest unemployment rates are: Lee 10.8%; Montgomery 10.3%; Wapello 9.4%; Davis 8.8%; Henry 8.8%; Jasper 8.8%; Jefferson 8.5%; Allamakee 8.4%; Van Buren 8.4%; Des Moines 8.4%. A map comparing each county’s unemployment rate to last year’s rate can be found at: http://iwin.iwd.state.ia.us/pubs/etables/unemploymentrates.pdf
One day before Iowa Workforce Development announced that unemployment is on the rise, Governor Chet Culver held a campaign press conference to announce his jobs plan moving forward. However, the Governor offered no new ideas or details about how he intends to put Iowans back to work. Instead, he stated that he will continue to do what he has been doing, with one news outlet headline reporting: “Culver opts for stay-the-course job creation plan.”
According to Iowa Workforce Development statistics, since taking office in January 2007, the number of jobless Iowans has increased by 54,300. In January 2007, Iowa had 59,900 individuals who were unemployed or 3.6%. Today, the number of unemployed Iowans has nearly doubled to 114,200 or 6.8%. During this time, Iowa has shed more than 23,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector alone.
Staying the course or expanding failed government spending programs in an effort to reduce the unemployment rate and put Iowans back to work is irresponsible and proven impossible. House Republicans pledge to pass pro-growth policies like cutting taxes and burdensome red tape on Iowa employers so they have the certainty they need to invest in and expand their operations, enabling them to hire workers.