EARN in Iowa

Iowa Network publications

  • Strengthening Pathways to the Middle Class

    Working full time, year round is not enough to guarantee a middle-class standard of living. Nearly one in five working Iowa families, in fact, does not earn enough to meet basic needs. There are a number of things that could be done to help such families move into the middle class. Policies are needed to […]

  • Do Immigrants Present an Untapped Opportunity to Revitalize Communities?

    As many cities across the nation experience population decline and an increase in vacant and distressed property, there is a need for economic and housing revitalization. New research from Welcoming Economies Global Network and Fiscal Policy Institute indicates that immigrants represent some of the brightest potential for revitalizing urban communities. However, experience suggests, that immigrants are often overlooked […]

  • The Cost of Living in Iowa

    What does it take to get by these days? This latest edition of The Cost of Living in Iowa answers this question. The report details how much working families must earn in order to meet their basic needs and underscores the importance of public work support programs for many Iowans, who despite their work efforts, are not […]

  • High Road WIOA: Building Higher Job Quality into Workforce Development

    In response to the federal Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA), most states are now in the latter stages of developing federally required plans and policies for operating their systems of workforce development under WIOA. This process creates an unprecedented opportunity to build into each state’s plan concrete ideas for using state and local workforce […]

  • Stolen Chances: Low-wage work and wage theft in Iowa

    Our 2012 report Wage Theft in Iowa characterized wage theft as an “invisible epidemic” affecting thousands of low-wage workers in Iowa. Since 2012, numerous media reports, an uptick in worker organizing to recover unpaid wages, and heightened attention from some state and local elected officials have made Iowa’s wage theft problem far more visible. Yet the state’s […]

  • The Case for a County Minimum Wage

    Inaction by Congress and state legislatures has led many cities and counties to adopt a local minimum wage. We show that a $15 county minimum wage, phased in by 2020, would raise the incomes of at least 19,300 workers in Johnson County and 24,300 in Linn County; the majority would be full-time workers over age […]

  • The State of Working Iowa

    Each year at Labor Day, we survey the “State of Working Iowa.” This annual report card examines trends in wages, job growth, and job quality in Iowa. This fall, when the Census Bureau updates its numbers on incomes and health insurance coverage, we will offer a follow-up report on those trends — and their meaning […]