On the Right Track
Iowa has the lowest growth rate of any state in the Untied States since 1900. This slow population growth has created an acute talent problem for economic growth as the labor shortage inhibits attraction and expansion opportunities.
The Iowa Chamber Alliance moved Talent Attraction to the top of our priority agenda in 2019 and in 2022 created the annual Talent Poll to better understand Iowa’s strengths and weaknesses. Iowa needs to find new people willing to move to the state by first
understanding what working age Iowans find attractive about living here.
Living In Iowa
Overall, Iowans believed that the experience of living in Iowa is superior to most other states. While the majority also believe they can achieve long-term career and life goals in Iowa, it is by a smaller margin. Iowa continues to have a low unemployment rate and numerous job opportunities, and has been consistently ranked nationally as one of the best places to live. To attract a new workforce, Iowa needs to better market our strengths.
When respondents read multiple messaging statements about living and working in Iowa, they strongly agreed with the ones that were about the experience of the state, which had to do with things like safety, the people, and cost of living. There was less agreement (though
still agreement overall) on the statements pertaining to achieving career and life goals in Iowa. To attract new Iowans, we need to show that they can enjoy the state’s low cost of living, friendly people, and safety, without giving up on a successful career and thriving social life.
More than half of Iowans polled believe that taxes on individuals are too high, especially among low income earners. The majority of respondents also believed that taxes on businesses are too high. Consistent with these findings, lowering taxes was one of the top three overall priorities from respondents.
Update: HF 2317 was signed by Governor Kim Reynolds on March 1, which moves Iowa from a complex and high-rate tax system to one of the most competitive systems for individuals and businesses in the country.
The poll found that among those who need childcare (respondents aged 25-49), almost half believed that access to affordable childcare has increased in the last three years. Continuing to successfully address the childcare shortage is a necessary part of addressing the workforce shortage.
Iowans are dissatisfied with Iowa’s entertainment and career opportunities, with 35% of respondents believing that Iowa has inferior career opportunities compared to other states.