IBC Releases 2023 Competitive Dashboard

March 9, 2023

IBC’s Annual Competitive Dashboard Highlights
Resilient Economy and Opportunities for Workforce 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 standing in the face of national and international economic concerns remains strong. Under the Economic Growth category, Iowa’s Gross State Product (GSP) increased by more than 11% to $216.9 billion compared to last year’s report. Noting Iowa’s strong standing in manufacturing value as a percentage of its GSP, Iowa is well diversified across multiple industries which highlights the state’s continued economic resiliency.

Iowa’s economy is poised for even more future growth as provisions from the 2022 tax reform legislation begin to go into effect. As those changes to Iowa’s tax code are phased in, it is expected that state rankings for both corporate and individual competitiveness will increase significantly.

The report also calls out opportunities for growth and improvement. Specifically, metrics contained within the Demographics & Diversity category should be highlighted 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 labor force is down approximately 35,000 individuals from pre-pandemic levels. Combined with Iowa’s low unemployment rates, the labor shortage continues to hamper companies of all sizes ability to expand throughout Iowa.

“Although Iowa remains in a strong economic position post pandemic, our available workforce remains critically strained. IBC companies alone have thousands of jobs available. We must continue to rethink our recruitment strategies and bring in new talent from outside of Iowa to fill these unmet needs,” said Phil Jasper, IBC chair and President of Mission Systems for Collins Aerospace based in Cedar Rapids, IA.

“Focusing our efforts on growing and expanding the labor force in Iowa will lead to more opportunities, more innovation, and more economic expansion,” stated IBC President Joe Murphy. “The IBC will continue to engage in innovative work-based learning programs while also focusing our federal efforts on making the business case for comprehensive immigration reform to supplement our current workforce.”

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 https://www.iowabusinesscouncil.org/news/dashboard2023/.


About the Iowa Business Council

The Iowa Business Council (IBC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose 21 members are the chief decision makers of major Iowa employers across all of the state’s 99 counties. 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: Alliant Energy; Casey’s General Stores, Inc.; Collins Aerospace; Corteva Agriscience; Deere & Company; Fareway; HNI Corporation; Hy-Vee, Inc., Iowa Bankers Association; Kent Corporation; MercyOne; MidAmerican Energy Company; Pella Corporation; Principal; Ruan Transportation Management Systems; The Weitz Company; UnityPoint Health; Vermeer Corporation; Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa; Wells Enterprises, Inc.; and Workiva.

For more information on the Iowa Business Council, please visit: www.IowaBusinessCouncil.org.


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