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Even though Iowa’s unemployment rate went up by 800 Iowans, from 4.0% in June to 4.1% in July, the economy actually improved. According to Iowa Workforce Development, there are 1,593,600 Iowans working, an increase of 5,700 compared to June. You may recall that the unemployment rate only counts people looking for work. That is why we can have an increase in the unemployment rate at the same time as we have an increase in employed Iowans. 

As I have pointed out before, when we have more people looking for work, that is a good thing, especially when we have so many employers looking for people to hire. We need to have people working, producing things, rather than collecting unemployment checks. The labor force participation rate increased from 66.6% to 66.9% in July. This is a better statistic than the unemployment rate for determining how well the economy is doing. 

You may recall that the national numbers are an unemployment rate of 5.4% and a labor force participation rate of 61.7%.

The biggest concern now is the likelihood of increasing inflation if the federal government continues to pump more money into the economy. Unfortunately, there is not a lot we can do to protect ourselves here in Iowa if we have increasing inflation caused by actions at the federal level. 

Afghanistan Debacle

Like most Americans, I have watched in great frustration the inept way President Biden has handled the withdrawal from Afghanistan. I believe most Americans agree that we should withdraw, but certainly not like this. 

As I write this, it is unclear what will happen after August 31, the announced deadline for completing the withdrawal. It seems clear that all Americans and our Afghan allies will not be evacuated by then. 

You don’t have to be an expert in military strategy to know that in withdrawing you remove weapons and civilians first, then the troops. 

Obviously, there is very little we can do at the state level in a situation such as this.

Author: Julian Garrett