Iowa JobWatch: Beneath Smooth Surface, Job Activity Choppy in July
Jobs DeficitIowa 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
Getting Good Research in Iowans’ Hands
Guest Opinion: Iowa is spinning its wheels on the minimum wage

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

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

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 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