Iowa’s Economy
JobWatch: Slow Growth in November — 45,000 Job Deficit in Sluggish Recovery
As we look ahead to a new year and a new legislative session, Iowa policy makers may want to examine where we have been struggling, particularly in manufacturing.
Iowa JobWatch statement NEW! 12/19/14

Choices for Economic Growth: Consultant Cites Valid Education, Infrastructure Concerns
But once more, we're hearing the same old tired and inaccurate business-lobby spin about tax policy, which is competitive for businesses in Iowa and in some cases overly generous to a selected group.
Iowa Policy Project statement NEW! 12/18/14

Strengthening Pathways to the Middle Class: The Role of Work Supports
The Cost of Living in Iowa
cliff effects graphIowa families could find a clearer path to the middle class if work-support policies were better designed to “make work pay.” A new Iowa Policy Project report shows where work supports work — and fall short — in boosting families toward a basic-needs household budget.
Full report NEW! 10/29/14
Executive summary
News release

Also see:
Part 1: Basic Family Budgets

County data (map, tables) • County and regional spreadsheet

Part 2: Many Iowa Families Struggle
to Meet Basic Needs

Making More — Having Less
Eligibility rules in Iowa's Child Care Assistance program create income “cliffs” that penalize families as they earn more, but still at low incomes.
Full report (5-page PDF)AppendixNews release 3/13/14

More Challenges for Iowa Families' Household Budgets

• Uninsurance: Iowa ahead of most states, but quarter million Uninsured
Iowa income and poverty trends
Wages: Growth lags at median, lower incomesThe State of Working Iowa online
Minimum wage: Iowa, once a leader, now a laggard
Food insecurity: A problem for 12 percent of Iowa households

Saving Energy: Wapsie Valley Community Rewarded for Energy Reduction
Get Energized Iowa! logoWhen 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

Clean Water for Iowans
Frac-Sand Mining: The Threats to Health and the Environment
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

New on Our Blog: Stop Politicizing Water Quality

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

A Threat Unmet: Why Iowa's Nutrient Strategy Falls Short Against Water Pollution

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.

David OsterbergAaron Kline 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

Immigrants in Iowa: What New Iowans Contribute to the State Economy

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.

Heather GibneyPeter Fisher 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
News release
Fisher interview with Mike Devine on KVFD-1400 Fort Dodge 7/31/14

“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