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Report: Dallas County led regional growth


By Joe Gardyasz

During a period when the state experienced a net decrease in jobs, non-farm employment in Dallas County grew by 16 percent, according to new regional figures released today by Iowa Workforce Development and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The report on the nine-county Central Iowa region is part of a series of 17 regional reports that complement a statewide report that was released in January. The regional status reports detail employment statistics from 2005 to 2010 as well as projections from 2008 to 2018, among other data.

Between 2005 and 2010, Dallas County gained 4,534 workers, while Iowa as a whole lost an estimated 11,200 jobs, a statewide decrease of 0.8 percent. Nationwide, non-farm employment declined by 2.9 percent in that same period.

Dallas County’s double-digit growth outpaced eight other Central Iowa counties. Polk County was the next fastest-growing county, with 3.8 percent growth, followed by Story and Warren counties, at 2.7 and 2.1 percent, respectively. Of the five counties that experienced decreases in jobs – Boone, Jasper, Madison, Marshall and Poweshiek —  Jasper County had the largest percentage of jobs lost, 8.8 percent.

By industry, the largest employment gain in the nine-county region was in the health care and social assistance sector, which gained more than 6,500 jobs, an increase of nearly 15 percent. That sector also has the highest projected 10-year growth, with more than 10,400 additional health-care positions expected to be added in Central Iowa by 2018, an increase of nearly 24 percent.

The finance and insurance industry, which increased by nearly 4,000 jobs regionally from 2005 to 2010, is also expected to grow significantly in Central Iowa, with an increase of more than 8,500 jobs, or 17.4 percent, by 2018.

Construction and manufacturing, which experienced the biggest job losses in Central Iowa from 2005 to 2010, are projected to have net gains of 21 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.

To view the regional reports, click here..

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