Economic Status

Creighton University

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index is pointing to solid economic gains ahead. Inflation is also soaring.

The monthly report from Creighton University is at a healthy 58.2, above the growth neutral mark of 50 for the tenth straight month. The man who compiles the survey of supply managers in nine states, economist Ernie Goss, says he’s keeping an eye on job numbers released later this week to see what they say about wage increases.

Liesl Eathington, Iowa State University

Research out of Iowa State University shows Iowa is losing its most highly educated workers because there aren’t enough jobs for them here. The situation, however, is slowly changing.

Of all the expensive machinery Tom Giessel worked during the 2017 wheat harvest, his favorite sits in the office of his home.

It’s a microfilm machine, the kind found in a high school library. Giessel uses it for his work as the historian of the National Farmers Union, the nation’s second-largest farm group.

Steven Strooh/Flickr

The most recent billings report from the American Institute of Architects indicates it could be a busy year for construction activity. It shows the state's architectural firms have plenty of design work.

The AIA Architecture Billings Index provides a glimpse at construction spending nine months to a year down the road. The executive director of the local chapter, Jessica Reinert, says the index for the Midwest and Iowa shows a steady increase in design requests since the start of 2017. She says this has put a strain on architectural firms.

Creighton University

The Mid-American Business Conditions Index is at its highest point in six years. Supply managers in a nine-state region are optimistic looking ahead to the next six months.

The survey conducted by Creighton University is above the growth neutral mark of 50 for the seventh straight month. At 62.3, it is higher than it’s been since February of 2011. Creighton economist Ernie Goss says he could find very little bad in the report.

Intel Free Press/flickr

The popularity of online shopping may be behind slower growth in Iowa sales tax collections in recent months.  

That’s according to one member of the Revenue Estimating Conference which reports lackluster growth in the Iowa economy.

The REC met Wednesday and predicted only a slight increase in tax revenues since their last assessment in December.  

Department of Management Director Dave Roederer says they are most concerned about sales tax collections.

Photo by John Pemble

 

The social activist group Nuns on the Bus got a boost today for their 36 city tour to encourage voter registration.  They are launching the trip from Des Moines accompanied by Vice-President Joe Biden.  Speaking from the terrace of the State Capitol, Biden calls for the raising of the minimum wage.  “The middle class is in real trouble.  It was devastated by this recession.  It was already losing ground the previous ten years.” says Biden.

 

USA.gov

On Tuesday, six states held nominating contests and the Republican establishment scored big wins. Are the results a bellwether for Iowa’s primaries in less than two weeks?  Political analysts Dennis Goldford of Drake University and Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa give us their thoughts on the primaries for open congressional seats here in Iowa.  Host Ben Kieffer asks how the issues of minimum wage and the Affordable Care Act are being talked about by Iowa's GOP candidates for U.S. Senate.
 

USDA Photo by Bob Nichols

The poverty rate of black Iowans is more than three times that of whites. For Hispanics, it is more than twice the poverty rate of whites.

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In last month’s State of the Union address, President Obama said this year he hoped to strengthen and build ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Host Ben Kieffer talks with University of Iowa sociologist Kevin Leicht and John Gallo of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business.

The All-Nite Images

U.S.

The National Guard / Flickr

To most, the word "home" means more than just a place to sleep and store property. This hour Charity Nebbe talks about what home means as well as what it means to lose one's home and find it again with Sally Ooms, author of Finding Home: How Americans Prevail. In her book Ooms profiles people who have been displaced by family pressures, economic pressures, and natural disasters. 

American Winter

Mar 29, 2013
http://www.americanwinterfilm.com/

Though the Great Recession ended in 2009, families that were once considered middle-class still struggle to get by.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with filmmaker and University of Iowa graduate Devon Terrill about her new documentary “An American Winter,” which profiles eight families who fell out of the middle class during the Great Recession.  IPR's Sandhya Dirks tells us about the push to get an Iowa inmate's sentence commuted.  And is your NCAA pool legal?  Geoff Greenwood from the Iowa Attorney General's Office outlines the regulations governing social gambling.

Frontline

The number of Iowa children living in high-poverty neighborhoods is growing at a much faster rate compared to results nationwide. On today's River to River, we’ll find out what it’s like for Iowa’s children to grow up poor, and we’ll talk to people across the state working to end childhood poverty in Iowa.

President Obama addressed tax cuts for the middle class at his stop in Cedar Rapids Tuesday. On this Politics Day, IPR’s Dean Borg talks with political scientists Tim Hagle from the University of Iowa and Donna Hoffman from the University of Northern Iowa about the President’s visit as both Obama and Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, make their appeals to the middle class.