Iowa Policy Project

The Iowa Policy Project (IPP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2001 to produce research and analysis to engage Iowans in state policy decisions. IPP focuses on tax and budget issues, economic opportunity and family prosperity, and energy and environmental policy. The mission of the Iowa Policy Project is to promote public policy that fosters economic opportunity while safeguarding the health and well-being of Iowa’s people and the environment.

By providing a foundation of fact-based, objective research and engaging the public in an informed discussion of policy alternatives, IPP advances effective, accountable and fair government.

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  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]