After speaking with at least half of the administrative law judges who rule cases for unemployment disputes, State Senator Bill Dotzler (D-Waterloo) says he’s gathered evidence that the head of Iowa Workforce Development has pressured judges to rule against employees hoping to receive unemployment insurance benefits.
For this News Buzz show, Ben Kieffer talks with a variety of guests about new jobs numbers, the 51% four-year graduation rate at the University of Iowa, Matt Schultz running for congress, the Director of Iowa's Public Health Department resigning, new rules for teen drivers, concerns about ice on the Missouri River, an ice fishing update, and the remarkable beginning for ISU Cyclone men's and women's basketball.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich joins host Ben Kieffer to talk about the film "Inequality for All," in which Reich outlines what he sees as an economic and social problem due to a growing disparity in Americans' incomes. In the second half of the show, hear some analysis of the issue and get an Iowa perspective.
One of the companies banking on Iowa’s wind energy industry is Clean Line Energy Partners, a Houston-based operation with plans to build five large-scale high voltage transmission lines in the country. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, one of those lines would traverse Iowa, and it starts in the northwest corner of the state.
The national unemployment rate is 7.6% and in Iowa the rate is at 4.6 %. Recent college graduates and seasoned workers alike are working hard to make a living wage. Host Ben Kieffer looks at how Iowans are getting their foot in the door via internships and working as temporary employees.
This week, the social networking site Facebook announced plans to build a $1.5 billion data center in Altoona, IA. On the same day, Google announced a $400 million expansion to its data facility in Council Bluffs. Iowa has a growing tech industry. What makes Iowa an attractive place for companies like Google and Facebook? Also, hear about our homegrown technology companies like INVOLTA.
Iowa City is testing new parking meters for their downtown shopping district, known as smart meters. They take credit cards and allow parkers to pay with their phones, and are slowly popping up in communities throughout Iowa.
But the hard part is often teaching people how to use them.
It looks like smooth sailing for a bill at the statehouse to let Iowa’s job creation experts hand out more tax credits to potential employers. Officials say the current cap on credits isn’t enough to meet the demand, as more companies are looking to expand. But not everyone agrees with a plan to make sure the employers come through with the jobs they promise.
It’s mid-morning on a bleak March day in Nilwood, Ill. And every 10 minutes or so, a car or truck pulls into the gravel parking lot in front of the south-central Illinois town’s post office.
Because there is no mail delivery here, the town’s 236 residents must stop in to the post office to stay connected. Staffed by one full-time postmaster and one relief person, this office provides mail service six days a week. As in many rural communities across the country, the post office serves as an informal community center.
What is the economic impact of this year’s drought? When it comes to food prices, agricultural experts and analysts say it means a spike due to soaring corn prices, but consumers may not see higher prices in the grocery store until 2013. Then we look at other economic factors in the Midwest, including how the 2012 Presidential Election could affect crude oil prices.
Both the Republican and Democratic national conventions are over. And both presidential candidates were in Iowa yesterday. Both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were using new jobs numbers to sway voters.
More than 8,000 people crowded outside Jessup Hall at the University of Iowa. A late afternoon rain soaked the crowd… many dressed in Hawkeye yellow and black as well as ponchos. But the sky cleared up for Vice President Joe Biden to introduce the president.
President Barack Obama made a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids Tuesday. He spent a lot of time discussing his call this week to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to the middle class. He also addressed the economy… something his presumptive GOP opponent, Mitt Romney has attacked him on. And as Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports, how he addresses the lagging economy could be what makes or breaks his reelection.
In the Quad Cities, Davenport’s St. Ambrose University will soon be opening a new program for training physician assistants. The job market is good for the female-dominated profession, but class sizes are limited.
President Obama is becoming a familiar face in Iowa again. Yesterday, he made his third visit to the state this year, which he won in 2008. Mr. Obama discussed renewable energy at a manufacturing plant in Newton before rallying about 2500 supporters at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
If Mr. Obama’s job four years ago was to woo voters, this time the message is more like “I Still Need You.”
"This election’s gonna be even closer than the last one. And by the way the last one was close. People don’t remember, it was close," he says.
With all the gloomy news about job prospects these days, seniors can feel like their diploma is a one-way ticket to mom’s basement. But there are young adults who’ve landed on their feet – and learned how to make it in this tough economy.
In the past week, scores of people have been killed and injured by tornadoes in the Midwest and South. Ben Kieffer talks with meteorologist Alan Czarnetzki of the University of Northern Iowa about the series of deadly storms and the weather outlook in Iowa as we approach spring. Ben will also talk with the Director of Iowa's Economic Development Authority Debi Durham about growing Iowa's economy and its population.
Gas prices are at record highs for this time of year, and experts predict the rise won't be ending soon. We'll examine what's driving current crude oil prices and what it means for Iowa's economy with the Iowa Department of Agriculture's Harold Hommes and Creighton University Economics Professor Ernie Goss. Later, the Iowa DNR has been surveying groundwater supplies across the state. Results indicate some Iowa cities need to start planning immediately to drill new wells or to pipe in water from new resources.