Iowa's agriculture-driven economy helped to shelter the state from the worst of the recession. Besides farming, Iowa has a strong concentration of manufacturing, finance and insurance employers. The Iowa job market and economy are seeing a recovery in most communities, while the real estate market has been stable. The Hawkeye State's workforce of 1.7 million should see continued improvement in job conditions.
Iowa Job Opportunities
Iowa has successfully diversified its once agriculture-dominated economy into renewable energy, IT, advanced manufacturing, bioscience, food processing and packaging. Higher education is supported by the University of Iowa and Iowa State University. In addition, the state claims the highest SAT scores and third-highest high school graduation rate in the country.
The trade, transportation and utilities industry accounts for the most employment in Iowa, followed by government, education/health services and manufacturing. Most industries have reported recent slowdowns, with the exception of construction; manufacturing; and trade, transportation and utilities.
Iowa Employment Trends
Iowa job conditions have been relatively strong throughout the recession. The unemployment rate, which peaked at only 6.3 percent during 2009 and 2010, has remained below 6 percent since September 2011. Iowa payrolls, which dropped for two years during the recession, have been positive since October 2010. Online postings have been increasing and are nearing prerecession levels.
Moody's Analytics forecasts a 1.1 percent increase in Iowa jobs between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013, below the 1.3 percent growth expected in the US job supply.