Iowa’s use of pandemic relief to attract workers comes during a ‘time to try anything’June 30, 2021
The head of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry said Gov. Kim Reynolds’ plan to use pandemic relief funds to attract more workers to the state will fulfill a big need for Iowa businesses.
During the association’s conference held in Coralville earlier this month, Reynolds told those attending the state would use pandemic relief funds for a marketing campaign to draw people to Iowa to help with its job surplus, The Gazette reported.
“I don’t know whether it’ll be effective. I’m not an expert or anything like that. But it seems like this is a time to try anything and everything,” Mark Ralston, president of the Iowa Association of Business, told The Center Square.
First and foremost, the state needs more people, which is why the association has favored immigration reform for a long time, Ralston said.
The second need is for employers to offer not just competitive wages, and if not the best wages, almost the best, he said.
“Any employer that’s not offering good wages and benefits, they don’t have anything to complain about and they’re their own worst enemy,” Ralston said.
The fact that wages are not rising indicates they are too low or the quality of the available jobs has eroded, according to a Common Good Iowa report by Colin Good.
Businesses and industries need to be competitive on many things. They need to treat their workers as the most important asset because they are, Ralston said.
“So that’s all part of: One, we need more people; and two: We need to make sure we’re treating those people the best possible ways,” Ralston said.
Iowa’s unemployment rate increased slightly in May to 3.9% from 3.8% in April. By comparison, the jobless rate was 8.3% one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.8% in May, Iowa Workforce Development reported.
At the association’s conference, Reynolds said Iowa is already seeing people return who have been on the East and West coasts. They recognized Iowa kept its economy open and kids in school, she said.
This article was originally posted on Iowa’s use of pandemic relief to attract workers comes during a ‘time to try anything’