Ongoing Coverage:

economy

Talk of Iowa
5:34 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Child Care: Breaking the Bank

Jason Parks

Finding a trustworthy and affordable child care provider is one of the biggest challenges working parents face. At the same time, providers are asked to do demanding and important work for little pay.

Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to that problem, says infant and toddler consultant Beth Walling.

"It's like trying to tackle poverty," she says.

Walling is especially concerned, since studies show there's an achievement gap that exists at 10 months of age.

"A 3-year-old’s vocabulary can predict their third grade reading level."

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:39 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Premium Processing

Iowa Premium Beef CEO Jeffrey Johnson stands outside the new 200, 000-square- foot beef processing plant in Tama
IPR's Pat Blank

Central Iowa is about to get a much needed economic shot in the arm as a long awaited beef processing plant opens its doors providing hundreds of new jobs. 

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Planet Money
5:00 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

T-shirts, Candy, and Candlelight: How Planet Money Makes Sense of the Economy

David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein will speak at ISU tonight at 8 PM.
John Pemble Iowa Public Radio

Economics teachers across the country use blackboards and chalk to teach people about supply and demand. The Planet Money team hands out candy to seventh graders.

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News
9:52 am
Thu March 20, 2014

State Senator Calls for Federal Investigation Into Iowa Workforce Development

Bill Dotzler, D-Waterloo, speaks to reporters at a press conference at the Statehouse.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

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.  

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River to River
1:02 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Putting Global Income Inequality into Context

Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With an average annual income of $236, the DRC is considered the poorest country in the world due to war and corruption.
Irene2005

How does where someone is born affect how much money they'll earn over a lifetime? What does income inequality indicate about a country's society and basic economic health?

Branko Milanovic tackles these questions as a lead economist in the World Bank's research department, where he works on the topics of income inequality and globalization.

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River to River
2:00 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Falling Out of the Middle Class

rwcox123

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.

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News Buzz
2:15 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Teen Drivers, 51%, Ice on a River, Ice Over Fish

Thiago Pompeu

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.

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River to River
2:03 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Robert Reich: Income Disparity

Robert Reich
HarvardEthics / flickr

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. 

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News
5:01 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Farmers carry mixed feelings over wind energy transmission line

In O'Brien County, Jay Hofland has agreed to sell part of his farm to Clean Line for a converter station, which would become the beginning of a high voltage, direct current transmission line traversing the state.
Durrie Bouscaren Iowa Public Radio

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. 

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Business and Economy
6:44 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Men Hold Two-Thirds of Management Jobs in Iowa

Credit SalFalko / Flickr

There are far more men than women in top management jobs in Iowa, according to a new report.

The Center for American Progress Action Fund, a liberal advocacy group, has released a "State of Women in America" report. It found men hold 67 percent of managerial jobs in Iowa as top administrators in the public and private sectors.

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River to River
2:21 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Getting Your Foot In The Door

The 2011 Intern Closing Ceremony at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Wednesday, August 3, 2011.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Bill Hrybyk Flickr

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. 

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River to River
1:16 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Tech Companies Choosing Iowa

A rendering of the first building of Facebook's new Altoona data center.
Facebook

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.

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News
6:09 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Are You Smarter than a "Smart Meter"?

Curt Brenton shows Pat Hobson how to use a smart meter in downtown Iowa City. The Transportation Services Department is testing models from five different companies this week.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

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.

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Statehouse and Politics
6:11 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Jobs Bill Advances at Statehouse

Credit John Pemble / IPR

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.  

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
7:28 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Rural Post Offices in Crisis

The post office in Nilwood, Ill., serves as an informal community center.
Credit Bill Wheelhouse / Harvest Public Media

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.   

Rush hour.

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.

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River to River
1:18 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Ralph Nader and "The Seventeen Solutions"

Ralph Nader / Harper Collins Publishers

The Atlantic named Ralph Nader one of the 100 most influential figures in American history. A political activist and five-time presidential candidate, Nader talks with host Ben Kieffer about his new book "The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future."

Politics
6:58 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Most Campaign Spending Doesn't Trickle Down to Small Businesses

Catherine Fields is the owner of Coffee Cat in Mason City. She says her coffee shop gets a little more traffic during campaign season, but nothing substantial.
Sarah McCammon Iowa Public Radio

Living in a swing state means never-ending TV ads, lots of attention from the candidates, and dozens of campaign offices spread all over your state. 

But all that spending isn’t exactly trickling down to small businesses in local communities.

Instead, most of the spending goes to TV ads.

River to River
12:51 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Drought And The Economy

Theresa Wysocki Flickr

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.

Politics
11:40 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Obama, Romney Push Job Numbers in Iowa

President Obama addresses a crowd of 8,000 on the University of Iowa Campus on September, 7 2012.
Clay Masters IPR

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.

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Politics
12:00 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Obama focuses on economy in Cedar Rapids

President Barack Obama campaigns at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids on July 10, 2012.
Clay Masters IPR

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.  

Health
8:30 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Growing need for physician assistants prompts new training program

        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.

Politics
6:54 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Obama takes on Romney's private-sector record, rallies supporters, in Des Moines

President Obama spoke to a crowd of about 2,500 supporters at the Iowa State Fair grounds in Des Moines.
Sarah McCammon Iowa Public Radio


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.

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Business/Economy
8:05 am
Tue May 8, 2012

How Not to Live in Your Mom's Basement After Graduation

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.

River to River
11:00 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Deadly Weather and State Economic Update

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.

River to River
11:00 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Gas Prices and the Economy and Iowa's Water Supply

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.