Iowa JobWatch: Slow Pace, Growth in 7 of 8 Months, But a Jobs Deficit
Jobs DeficitIowa is continuing to see job growth in 2014, though at a slower pace in the last two months, and at a sluggish pace over the last year — about 1,800 jobs a month. The gain in September was 1,300.
See our Iowa JobWatch statement 10/21/14

Heather Gibney“Iowa’s population has grown since the start of the last recession, and we need to add more jobs to make up for that. We remain almost 46,000 jobs behind — that is Iowa's jobs deficit.”
— IPP's Heather Gibney

Weighty Issues Waiting for Solutions: TIF Reform
Get Energized Iowa! logoEven at times of heightened political interest, some of Iowa's biggest issues do not hold the spotlight when candidates are questioned. One of them: Reform of tax-increment financing, or TIF, to deter its excessive use and protect all taxpayers.
Hear Peter Fisher's interview on “The Devine Intervention,” KVFD Fort Dodge 10/2/14

“About 20 years ago we opened the door to just about anything the cities wanted to do. ... And just about anything the cities do, it turns out, they can call ‘economic development’ and finance with TIF.” — IPP's Peter Fisher on KVFD

More resources on TIF from the Iowa Fiscal Partnership

Challenges for Iowa's Families — Health Care Access, Wages and Food
Uninsurance: Iowa Ahead of Most States, But Quarter Million Uninsured
piechartA greater percentage of Iowans had health insurance than in most other states leading up to the implementation of the new health care law.
News release 9/16/14

Peter Fisher“As good as the Iowa numbers look in comparison to other states, we still had a quarter of a million people without insurance heading up to implementation of the Affordable Care Act.” — IPP’s Peter Fisher

Visit the Iowa Fiscal Partnership website for new Census information about Iowa income and poverty trends

“How much are we talking about what it means to be poor?” — IPP’s Mike Owen
Hear the interview on “The Devine Intervention,” KVFD Fort Dodge.

StateOfWorkingIowaThe State of Working Iowa 2014 — Spotlight on Wages
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
News release
Colin Gordon's interview on “The Devine Intervention,” KVFD Fort Dodge

Colin Gordon“In 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

Minimum Wage: Iowa, Once a Leader, Now a Laggard
In 2007, lawmakers passed a two-step increase in the state minimum wage that took effect a year-and-a-half before the federal wage. And the wage is still sitting at $7.25 an hour.
Fact sheet or 1-page PDF

Iowa JobWatch: Not Growing Fast Enough
The latest job numbers from the state show Iowa’s recovery from the recession is almost 47,000 jobs off the pace from what would be needed to keep up with population growth.
Iowa JobWatch statement by Heather Gibney 9/19/14

Food Insecurity: A Problem for 12 Percent of Iowa households
piechartIowa 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

Getting Energized: 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

Addressing Water Pollution in Iowa
Frac-Sand Mining: The Threats to Health and the EnvironmentOn the Air
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

Getting Good Research in Iowans’ Hands
Heather GibneyGuest Opinion: Iowa is spinning its wheels on the minimum wage
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

Peter FisherGuest Opinion: Getting to the truth of Iowa's tax facts
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

Peter FisherIowa Fiscal Partnership: Ten Years of Balanced Analysis
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

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 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

Many Iowa Families Struggle to Meet Basic Needs
The Cost of Living in Iowa
1 in 6 chartPart 1: Basic Family Budgets
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 releaseCounty data (map, tables) • County and regional spreadsheet 2/26/14

Part 2: Many Iowa Families Struggle to Meet Basic Needs
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 PDFNews release 4/9/14

Reducing the Cliff Effects in Iowa Child Care Assistance
Eligibility rules could be adjusted in Iowa's Child Care Assistance program to better meet family needs.
Full report (5-page PDF)AppendixNews release 3/13/14

Wage Theft in Iowa — Real and Overlooked

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

Why Foundations of Iowa, Many State Pension Systems are Strong
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