IOWA LABOR FORCE TRENDS
Source of information: Iowa Workforce Development,
1000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines 50319; 515/281-5802
Iowa's already tight labor market grew even tighter
in 1998. The unemployment rate for 1998 was set at a 2.8 percent, the
lowest yearly average ever recorded and third lowest in the country.
The yearly average for unemployed Iowans was a mere 43,500, another
record low. The number of employed Iowans was 1,526,300.
These unprecedented employment statistics were set despite depressed
farm prices. Overall Iowa's economic engine got humming. But nagging
doubts about looming labor shortages persist.
It's estimated that between 1996 and 2005 Iowa's economy is expected
to generate more than 54,500 jobs each year. Helping to improve both
the quantity and the quality of Iowa's workforce is one of the prime
missions of Iowa Workforce Development or IWD.
Created in 1996, IWD consolidated a number of employment and job training
programs under one department. Working in conjunction with the Iowa
Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Economic Development,
Iowa's Community Colleges and a number of other care providers, IWD
is forming partnerships to address Iowa's workforce needs.
IWD, in conjunction with a number of partner agencies and organizations,
has established a series of Iowa Workforce Development Centers across
the state. At these one-stop centers, a variety of products are offered
to employers, job seekers, students, economic developers and other stakeholders
in a community. Training, skills assessment, career counseling, resume
writing and a variety of other services are provided, many at no charge.
Employers can use the Centers to help gather, screen and interview applicants.
Many of the Centers also have Resource Rooms where Iowans can access
Internet Job Listing and Posting services.
Iowa Workforce Development is also responsible for promoting and ensuring
safe workplaces. Working with Iowa employers is the preferred approach,
but fines are another enforcement tool.