Growth in manufacturing jobs boosts Iowa’s economy in January
MICHAEL CRUMB Feb 2, 2021 | 4:53 pm
1 min read time341 wordsAll Latest News, Economic Development, Iowa News
Iowa’s economy improved in January behind increases in manufacturing employment, according to a monthly survey of supply chain managers released Monday.
The Creighton University Business Conditions Index showed Iowa remained above neutral growth in January, with its overall index climbing to 71.5, up from 64.7 in December.
“Since bottoming in April of last year, manufacturing employment in the state has expanded by almost 14,000 jobs for a 6.4% gain,” said Ernie Goss, the MacAllister Chair of Economics at Creighton.
Goss said he anticipates that that rate of growth in Iowa’s manufacturing sector will continue well into 2021.
The Business Conditions Index is an average of indexes for new orders, production or sales, employment, inventories and delivery lead time. It ranges from 0 to 100, and an index higher than 50 indicates an expanding economy in the next three to six months. It measures economic conditions in nine states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Oklahoma.
Iowa also saw strong performances in the other indexes. The index for new orders was 79.4, production or sales was 75.8, delivery lead time was 74, employment was 65.6, and the index for inventories was 70.8.
The overall index has climbed above neutral growth for eight of the past nine months, climbing to 67.3 in January, up from 64.1 in December.
Goss said the region has regained 841,000 of the nonfarm jobs lost at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Creighton’s monthly survey results indicate that the region is adding jobs and economic activity at a healthy pace, and that growth will remain healthy well into 2021,” Goss said.
Other findings in the survey include:
- The wholesale inflation gauge for the month soared to its highest level in almost 10 years.
- Despite adding jobs in January, 75% of supply managers identified COVID-19 worker absences as having a negative impact on their businesses.
- A weak U.S. dollar bolstered exports and restrained imports.
- Almost one-third of supply managers reported difficulties in international buying as having adverse impacts on their company’s business activity.