Report shows low unemployment rate in Des Moines
Des Moines had the lowest metro unemployment rate of the 27 cities included in the 2010 Hunger and Homelessness Report released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Tuesday.
The study reported that Des Moines had a metro unemployment rate of 6.2 percent. In another measure of economic strength, 17.2 percent of the city’s residents had incomes below the poverty line, which was the ninth-lowest figure on that list.
Des Moines saw a 60 percent increase in requests for emergency food assistance, and the city’s budget for food assistance increased by 9 percent.
The report also said Des Moines experienced a 26 percent decrease in the number of people using homeless shelters in the past year, largely because of a decrease in the number of homeless individuals. The number of homeless families was unchanged, the report said.
“The lack of affordable housing, unemployment, housing foreclosures and other economic-related problems make families and individuals vulnerable to situations that they never dreamed would affect them,” Mayor Frank Cownie said in a press release. “As the economy improves we must ensure that individuals and families have the help they need to become self-sufficient and not be left behind in the future.”
Sacramento, Calif., had the highest unemployment rate at 12.1 percent, and Cleveland had the highest proportion of residents living below the poverty line, 35 percent.
The complete report is available online at www.usmayors.org.