FRIDAY, NOV. 16, 2018  |  IN THIS ISSUE  
A graph of Iowa's unemployment rate since 1990. SOURCE: U.S. BLS
Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 2.4 percent in October amid robust hiring, pushing the state's unemployment rate to the lowest level since March 2000 and tying for the lowest level on since records began in 1976, according to Iowa Workforce Development.
The state's jobless rate was 2.9 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in October.
The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 41,200 in October, while the number of working Iowans increased to 1,647,100. That number of working Iowans was 2,700 higher than September, and 21,300 higher than a year ago.
Private sector employers in the state were responsible for all of the gains in October. Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs in October in Iowa (+2,100). Arts, entertainment, and recreational industries provided most of the added employment (+1,300). Many of these gains were due to special events bolstering staff levels in amusement and recreational industries.
Construction also continued expanding this month, adding 1,600 jobs. This is now the ninth-consecutive month of job growth for the construction sector. Both durable and nondurable goods manufacturing expanded in October, gaining 1,100 jobs.
TTravel Leaders / Destinations Unlimited heading to Coralville 
Travel Leaders / Destinations Unlimited has announced plans to move its Iowa City office to a space in the 808 on Fifth development in Coralville.
The company's current office on S. Gilbert Street in downtown Iowa City served as the 30-year home to Winebrenner Red Carpet Travel, which joined Travel Leaders / Destinations Unlimited in 2017. The company is headquartered in Cedar Rapids, and has a small office in Des Moines.

According to President Anne Jasper, the new office will offer 50 percent more space for the growing company, including a small meeting area. It was also continue to offer free parking.

The company expects to move to the new space at 708 Fifth St. SE, #5 on Dec. 7. Business operations will begin in the space Dec. 10.
On this week's CBJ Report on CBS2/FOX 28, reporter Katharine Carlon discusses a "transformational" engineering grant to the University of Iowa, the launch of a new logo and donor wall at Prospect Meadows, and plans for a new superstore at a site near Edgewood Road and Blairs Ferry Road in Cedar Rapids. Watch the full report here.
Jennifer Daly 
ICR Iowa, in partnership with Kirkwood Community College and IowaWORKS, has announced the launch of a new joint Workforce Solutions Team that will meet with employers experiencing severe workforce issues to help identify and assist with the deployment of strategic solutions.
The new ICR Workforce Solutions Team will include representatives from ICR Iowa, the region's joint venture dedicated to workforce and business attraction, Kirkwood Community College and IowaWORKS. Each of these organizations currently meet with employers and share resources independently. The new team approach will not only reduce the amount of time needed by employers to identify solutions, but will also allow the agencies to work closely together to offer a more comprehensive approach to workforce needs for area employers.
"As the unemployment rate continues to decline, our regional employers are searching for additional assistance in talent attraction, retention, and development," Jennifer Daly, president and CEO for ICR Iowa, said in a press release. "We have some of the best employer resources in the Midwest for workforce needs, but it isn't always easy for employers to find or access those resources. We hope this new joint effort will create a streamlined and consultative approach to helping our companies identify solutions."
As part of the new initiative, ICR Iowa's Tom Banta will transition into the role of director of workforce solutions for the organization. He had previously served as business attraction specialist.
"The ability to attract, retain, and develop talent is critical to the success of our companies," said Mr. Banta. "This team approach will allow us to better assist employers in exploring creative solutions to their workforce issues including tapping into available talent pools, connecting with talent attraction strategies, upskilling current employees, launching earn and learn or apprenticeship programs, connecting with future talent pipelines, and strengthening workplace culture to boost retention."
Employers interested in meeting with the new ICR Workforce Solutions Team can go to or contact Mr. Banta at .

The latest Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index for Iowa in November fell to 48.7 percent - below the growth level - from October's 53.5, the Des Moines Business Record reports.
Anything above 50 is considered a sign of growth. The overall Midwest index dropped to 49.9, its first sub-growth reading since January.
"Our surveys over the last several months indicate the Rural Mainstreet economy is expanding outside of agriculture. However, the negative impacts of tariffs and low agriculture commodity prices continue to weaken the farm sector," said Creighton economist Ernie Goss.
The index is based on a monthly survey of bank CEOs in a 10-state region that depends on agriculture or energy.
The overall growth figures show much stronger jobs growth in urban areas in the past 12 months - 1.7 percent. The rural areas report 0.1 percent job growth.
By comparison, the rural areas of Minnesota lost jobs at a 0.3 percent rate, lllinois gained 2.4 percent, Missouri gained 3.1 percent, Illinois 2.4 percent, Nebraska 1.1 percent and South Dakota 1.8 percent.
In the urban areas, Illinois increased jobs by 0.7 percent, Minnesota 1.6 percent, Missouri 1.1 percent, Nebraska 2.1 percent, and South Dakota 1.7 percent.
The survey also found: 
  • 37 percent of the CEOs supported reducing tariffs.
  • Holiday sales are expected to rise 1.7 percent from last year.
  • Farm loan defaults are expected to increase by 5 percent over the next year.
Nov. 21
1 Million Cups , by 1MC, 9-10 a.m., Geonetric, 415 12th Ave., SE, Cedar Rapids and MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Join for community connections, startup pitches and free coffee. The November theme for Cedar Rapids' meeting is nonprofits. Free. For more information, visit
Nov. 24
Shop Small Shop Crawl, by Iowa City Chamber of Commerce, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Hyatt Place Iowa City Downtown, 225 E. Court St., Iowa City. Join the chamber for this inaugural small business event. Check out meetups in North Liberty, Coralville and Iowa City designed to encourage local shopping and celebrate area small businesses. Free. For more information visit
Nov. 28
1 Million Cups , by 1MC, 9-10 a.m., Geonetric, 415 12th Ave., SE, Cedar Rapids and MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Join for community connections, startup pitches and free coffee. The November theme for Cedar Rapids' meeting is nonprofits. Free. For more information, visit
Nov. 29
Winning the Game: Launch and Land Your Post-Harvest Marketing Plan , by Hills Bank & Trust, 8:30 a.m.-noon, 3204 Seventh Ave., Marion.  This crop marketing seminar will include tips and advice for writing your marketing plan and a fun marketing simulation. Free, light breakfast provided. To register, visit
Nov. 30
Ribbon Cutting: Wickwire Chiropractic, by Marion Chamber of Commerce, noon, 955 29th Ave., Suite B, Marion. Help Wickwire Chiropractic celebrate the opening of its new Marion location. Free. For more information visit .
One last thing before the weekend

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Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28  
Two people are dead and another person injured following a head-on crash in Johnson County. The Iowa State Patrol reports the crash happened last night at 8:30 p.m. along Highway 1 just south of Solon. Authorities say a Dodge Caravan crossed the center line near 210th Street NE, hitting a KIA Sport head on. The victims names have not been released.

For the second time, The Cat Fancier's Association will hold one of their two national shows in Iowa City to celebrate cat lovers and breeders from across the country. The organization was formed in 1906 and is the official registry for purebred, pedigreed cats, experimental breeds and household pet cats. "To have a prestigious CFA show here in Iowa just brings that attention to us that we can attract people from around the country to our show and have some of the top CFA cats here," said Troy Weier, one of the organizers of the show. Mr. Weier himself has entered eight cats into competition and has been competing for several years. The event attracted more than 1,000 people last year and was one of the most popular ones the organization has hosted. More than 150 cats will be on display with over 83 exhibitors from all over the world showing off their precious feline friends. The show runs from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday. It's hosted by the Sharpless Auction Center in Iowa City. 

T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast

There will be a mix of sun and clouds today with temperatures near 40 degrees this afternoon. A cold front arrives late and precipitation will arrive after 8 p.m. in Eastern Iowa, moving from north to south. There may be a wintry mix to start, but as temperatures cool there will be a transition to snow. An area of low pressure will move along this front early Saturday and will lead to light to moderate snow. Right now it looks like there will be around 1-3 inches of snow across the area. The best chance for an inch of snow will be along and north of Highway 30, to the south there will be under an inch. The higher totals, of 2-3 inches, will likely be near and north of Highway 20. Some locally higher amounts, up to 4 inches, will be possible in this area as well. Snow will quickly move out Saturday morning, by 10 a.m. Cold air will follow and temperatures will be in the low 30s both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.