Social & Education Policy

The State of Working Iowa, 2011

O’Connor, N.; Gordon, C.; Fisher, P.S.
09/2011

Abstract

Each fall, we mark Labor Day with a report on the recent experience of working Iowans and their families. The State of Working Iowa 2011 examines key trends in wages, job growth, and job quality — with particular attention to the impact of the 2007 recession, and the pace of recovery. While Iowa (as other states with limited exposure to the housing bubble) was spared the worst ravages of the recession, its impact was nevertheless significant — and the recovery has been painfully slow.

Key Points:

• Iowa’s unemployment rate

• Even 17 months into the Iowa recovery the state faces a substantial jobs deficit

• Wage growth slowed to a crawl during the recession

• This wage stagnation has fallen unevenly across Iowa’s population