IBC Releases 2022 Competitive Dashboard

March 3, 2022

IBC’s Annual Competitive Dashboard Outlines
Iowa’s Advantages and Opportunities for Growth   

DES MOINES – The Iowa Business Council (IBC) released its annual, nonpartisan review of the state’s economic competitiveness. Known as Iowa’s Competitive Dashboard, the report measures the state’s standing nationally in five categories: economic growth; workforce & education; governance; health & wellness; and demographics & diversity. For each category, Iowa is awarded a cumulative score that determines whether it is outperforming, competitive, or underperforming. The report can be measured consistently across all 50 states, providing an accurate depiction of how Iowa is competing nationally.

Among the key findings of the report, Iowa’s overall economic standing in the face of the pandemic remains resilient. Under the Economic Growth category, Iowa’s Gross State Product (GSP) is steady at more than $194 billion. Noting Iowa’s strong standing in manufacturing value as a percentage of its GSP, Iowa’s economy is well diversified across multiple industries leading to a robust economic recovery from the pandemic.

Iowa’s economy is poised for even more future growth with the recently approved tax reform provisions that will modernize Iowa’s tax system while increasing competitiveness across both individual and corporate tax indexes. While the recent tax changes are not factored into the report, achieving a more competitive tax policy has long been an IBC priority and the recent legislative action will make significant progress towards increasing Iowa’s attractiveness for individuals and businesses.

The report also calls out opportunities for growth and improvement. Specifically, metrics contained within the Demographics & Diversity category should be taken as causes of concern for Iowa policymakers. Iowa’s population has grown at a far slower rate than the rest of the country. Furthermore, while the state remains in the top ten nationally for its labor participation rate, Iowa’s overall workforce is down approximately 76,000 individuals from pre-pandemic levels. Combined with Iowa’s low unemployment rates, the labor shortage impacting employers is the most acute in recent memory.

“While Iowa remains competitive across all sectors of our report, there are opportunities for the state to strengthen its national position. Among the most critical areas is the availability of a workforce to fill the great jobs that Iowa employers are creating.  A low unemployment rate and high labor force participation rate are, on the surface, positive indicators for Iowa’s economy, but we must do more to attract people into the workforce both from within Iowa and from other states,” explains IBC Chair Tim Yaggi. “Focusing our efforts on growing and expanding the labor force in Iowa will lead to more opportunities, more innovation, and more economic expansion.”

The dashboard, which has been released annually since 2011, serves as a tool for policymakers and business leaders to use when making sound economic decisions. IBC members encourage community leaders to join in implementing the report’s recommendations, or use the data to develop their own action items. Over the course of the next several months, the IBC will present the report’s findings throughout the state.

To view the full report, visit www.iowabusinesscouncil.org/research.


About the Iowa Business Council

The Iowa Business Council (IBC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose 22 members are the chief decision makers of major Iowa employers. One in six jobs in Iowa are tied to an IBC company. IBC member companies have invested billions of dollars of capital in Iowa's commercial infrastructure; lead the way in technology innovation, R&D, and grants procured; and are often the driving financial and volunteer forces behind philanthropic efforts all over the state.

IBC member companies include: Ruan Transportation Management Systems; Vermeer Corporation; Iowa Bankers Association; Alliant Energy; Casey’s General Stores, Inc.; Collins Aerospace; Corteva Agriscience; Deere & Company; Fareway Stores, Inc.; HNI Corporation; Hy-Vee, Inc., Kent Corporation; Mercy Health Network; Dotdash Meredith Corporation; MidAmerican Energy Company; Pella Corporation; Principal; The Weitz Company; The University of Iowa Health Care; UnityPoint Health; Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa; and Wells Enterprises, Inc.


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