Stagnation in wages for Iowa workers has come despite improved productivity and educational attainment. The State of Working Iowa 2014, the latest in a series running since 2001, puts the spotlight on wage trends and finds an example of the disparities in Iowa’s economy between the haves and others.
Labor Day Wage Update 8/29/14 or Full report online
Colin Gordon's interview on “The Devine Intervention,” KVFD Fort Dodge
the face of both declining workplace benefits and the shrinking rewards of education and hard work, the broader promise of economic security has collapsed.” — Colin Gordon
|Iowa households fared better than the national average on food insecurity in 2011-13, but worse than Iowans did a decade earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.|
News release or 2-page PDF 9/4/14
|When the lights went on for Wapsie Valley’s opening football game, it put the spotlight on solar power and energy efficiency.|
News release 8/27/14
“The small towns in this area proved that local volunteers talking to their neighbors could lead citizens to become more conscious of how they use electricity.” — David Osterberg
IPP's David Osterberg, who co-authored a ground-breaking report on frac-sand mining, talked about the issue on Iowa Public Radio's “River to River” program.
Listen to the program 9/2/14
Water quality in Iowa is so bad that any new initiative to improve our waters is probably a good thing. That said, Iowa farm groups’ new initiative to take action on agricultural pollution of our waters comes with a troubling rollout.
Iowa Policy Points post by David Osterberg 8/26/14
Bodies of water across Iowa increasingly are in peril, and send their problems on to the Mississippi River and on to the Gulf of Mexico. Public policy has failed to address it, and shortcomings of the 2013 Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS) promise more of the same.
Full report by David Osterberg and Aaron Kline 7/17/14
27-pg PDF of full report, including executive summary
2-pg PDF of executive summary only
News release or 2-page PDF
Osterberg interview with Mike Devine on KVFD-1400 Fort Dodge 7/24/14
“The Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a blunt tool that takes different approaches to urban and rural runoff, and is especially weak on the larger, rural source of pollution from applied nutrients.” — David Osterberg
|Iowa nonfarm jobs showed no net change in July, while more Iowans entered the labor force and pushed the unemployment rate up to 4.5 percent.|
Our Iowa JobWatch statement 8/18/14
“We still have to add almost 49,000 jobs to keep up with population growth from the start of the recession.” — Heather Gibney
On Iowa's low road, low-wage workers will never get ahead. They keep spinning their wheels at a $7.25 minimum wage, digging deeper into the mud.
Heather Gibney's column in the Iowa City Press-Citizen 8/8/14
Iowans are taxed more lightly than the national average, and at a lower rate than most surrounding states. The corporate income tax collected by the state is much below the national average.
Peter Fisher's column in the Cedar Rapids Gazette 8/11/14
Our business is the arena of issues, not of party politics. This is the focus of State Priorities Partnership organizations around the nation.
New on the Iowa Fiscal Partnership website 8/26/14
Undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $64 million in state and local taxes, according to a new Iowa Policy Project report. The authors suggest immigration reform that expands work authorization or access to citizenship would increase the already significant contribution to Iowa by all immigrants — documented or not.
Full report by Heather Gibney and Peter Fisher 7/2/14
16-pg PDF of full report, including executive summary
2-pg PDF of executive summary only, or read online
Fisher interview with Mike Devine on KVFD-1400 Fort Dodge 7/31/14 NEW!
“The vitality that immigrants bring to Iowa communities is expanded by their economic contributions, as well as the taxes they pay — with limited access in some cases to the services they support.” — Heather Gibney
How much must working families earn to meet basic needs. This report underscores the importance of public work support programs for many Iowans whose jobs do not pay enough for the most basic living expenses.
View full report or 22-page PDF • News release •
County data (map, tables) • County and regional spreadsheet 2/26/14
Over half the jobs in Iowa pay less than what is needed by many families to achieve basic self-sufficiency.
View full report or download 6-page PDF • News release 4/9/14
Eligibility rules could be adjusted in Iowa's Child Care Assistance program to better meet family needs.|
Full report (5-page PDF) • Appendix • News release 3/13/14
A hot topic at the Iowa Statehouse this year was wage theft. What is the reality behind this issue in Iowa?
See our Wage Theft page, with links to our research
Hear David Osterberg's interview on “The Devine Intervention,” KVFD-1400 AM in Fort Dodge 3/27/14
“Wage theft ... is abetted by weak and poorly enforced labor laws at the state and federal level. ” — IPP report
|Iowa‘s public pension systems are strong and healthy, working as intended to assure retirement security to thousands of Iowans.|
Policy brief by Imran Farooqi, Peter Fisher and David Osterberg. (33 pages) 12/12/13
Executive summary (or 5-page PDF) • News release