Iowa Business & Employment Growth Since 2009

  • 8,629 more businesses
  • 104,254 more employees
  • 7.2% increase in total wages
  • $10,350 increase in annual wages per employee
  • 27.9% increase in wages per employee

Since 2009, the number of businesses in Iowa has grown by 9.2% (2.3% less than the national average of 11.4%). Employment in Iowa has grown by 7.2% (6.4% less than the national average of 13.6%). Wages have grown by 27.8% since the end of the Great Recession. This wage growth is 2.1% greater than the national average of 25.7%.
The average weekly wage in Iowa of $914 is 20.5% below the national average of $1,101. The gap between the national average has widened from 22.5% a widening of 2.1% since the end of the recession.

Sector Growth

Business Sector Growth

The Retail trade sector has the most businesses in the state of Iowa. Since the end of the recession, the number of businesses has decreased from 12,606 to 11,749, a reduction of 6.8%. The table below illustrates the change in number of businesses in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Retail trade11,74912,606-6.8%
Healthcare10,4397,95731.2%
Professional services9,4947,99118.8%
Construction9,4529,0973.9%
Other services8,6807,86610.3%
Wholesale trade7,6157,4422.3%
Accommodation and food services7,1866,7356.7%
Finance and insurance6,6986,2916.5%
Waste services5,3744,48219.9%
Manufacturing4,1464,1450.0%
Transport and warehousing3,8343,7262.9%
Real estate and rental3,5123,00416.9%
Agriculture and forestry2,6381,83443.8%
Information1,7431,6565.3%
Arts and entertainment1,4901,4463.0%
Educational services1,16480045.5%
Company management97163852.2%
Utilities327359-8.9%
Mining and oil extraction1911891.1%

The sector that has had the strongest growth [in number of businesses] is the Healthcare sector, which has increased by 31.2% since 2009. The sector that has has the largest decline is the Retail trade sector, which has declined by 6.8% since the recession.

Employment Sector Growth

The Manufacturing sector has the most employees in the state of Iowa. Since the end of the recession, the number of employees has grown from 202,863 to 222,583, a gain of 9.7%. The table below illustrates the change in number of employees in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Manufacturing222,583202,8639.7%
Healthcare191,922173,65710.5%
Retail trade178,829175,4271.9%
Accommodation and food services122,809112,3049.4%
Finance and insurance94,21588,9625.9%
Construction77,25164,91319.0%
Waste services67,28362,5527.6%
Wholesale trade66,13866,748-0.9%
Transport and warehousing58,23450,18816.0%
Professional services53,59042,40126.4%
Other services42,33041,8401.2%
Educational services27,87225,14910.8%
Information22,03930,522-27.8%
Arts and entertainment20,83320,2632.8%
Agriculture and forestry20,64015,68031.6%
Company management19,55212,80252.7%
Real estate and rental14,80112,87914.9%
Utilities6,3927,006-8.8%
Mining and oil extraction2,4312,17811.6%

The sector that has had the strongest employment growth [in number of employees] is the Manufacturing sector, which has increased by 9.7% since 2009. The sector that has has the largest employment decline in number of employees is the Information sector, which has declined by 27.8% since the recession.

Weekly Wage Growth By Sector

The Utilities sector has the highest average weekly wage in the state of Iowa. Since the end of the recession, the average wage has grown from $1,457 to $1,816, a gain of 24.6%. The table below illustrates the change in weekly wage in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Utilities$1,816$1,45724.6%
Company management$1,619$1,34520.4%
Finance and insurance$1,503$1,07539.8%
Professional services$1,313$97135.2%
Wholesale trade$1,265$95732.2%
Manufacturing$1,159$90927.5%
Mining and oil extraction$1,126$82237.0%
Information$1,125$83834.2%
Construction$1,104$83731.9%
Transport and warehousing$899$70727.2%
Real estate and rental$899$64639.2%
Healthcare$842$69421.3%
Agriculture and forestry$791$59732.5%
Educational services$725$60220.4%
Other services$660$48935.0%
Waste services$654$50030.8%
Retail trade$524$42922.1%
Arts and entertainment$348$3441.2%
Accommodation and food services$319$23635.2%

The sector that has had the strongest wage growth is the Finance and insurance sector, which has increased by 39.8% since 2009. The sector that has has the smallest wage growth is the Arts and entertainment sector, which has declined by 1.2% since the recession.


Industry Growth

Business Industry Growth

The Restaurants and other eating places industry has the greatest number of businesses in the state of Iowa. This industry currently has 5,003 businesses in it. There is no direct comparison to the total at the end of recession and is not included in the table below.

Industry20182009Pct Chg
Computer systems design and related services2,3191,48456.3%
Insurance agencies and brokerages2,1912,1671.1%
Private households1,9481,45533.9%
Residential building construction1,9331,958-1.3%
Services for the elderly and disabled1,733209729.2%
Gasoline stations with convenience stores1,6131,641-1.7%

The top industry that has had the largest increase in the number of businesses is the Services for the elderly and disabled industry, which has increased by 729.2% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest decline in the number of businesses is the Gasoline stations with convenience stores industry, which has declined by 1.7% since the recession.

Employment Industry Growth

The Restaurants and other eating places industry has the greatest number of employees in the state of Iowa. This industry currently has 91,824 employees in it. There is no direct comparison back to the total at the end of the recession and is not included in the table below.

Industry20182009Pct Chg
General medical and surgical hospitals40,78141,203-1.0%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores38,01834,41910.5%
Animal slaughtering and processing31,94829,2079.4%
Commercial banking29,32525,92513.1%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing28,27628,2080.2%

The top industry that has had the largest increase in the number of employees is the Supermarkets and other grocery stores industry, which has increased by 10.5% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest decline in the number of employees is the General medical and surgical hospitals industry, which has declined by 1.0% since the recession.

Weekly Wage Growth By Industry

The Other financial vehicles industry has the highest average weekly wage in the state of Iowa. Since the end of the recession, the average wage has grown from $0 to $8,131, a gain of 0.0%. The table below illustrates the change in weekly wage in each sector.
Industry20182009Pct Chg
Trusts estates and agency accounts$3,993$1,567154.8%
Open-end investment funds$3,923$1,527156.9%
Investment banking and securities dealing$2,794$2,32120.4%
Commodity contracts dealing$2,484$1,36482.1%
Reinsurance carriers$2,274$1,48453.2%

The top industry that has had the strongest wage growth is the Trusts estates and agency accounts industry, which has increased by 154.8% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest wage decline is the Investment banking and securities dealing industry, which has declined by 20.4% since the recession.


Company Size

Business Growth By Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the number of businesses has been in businesses with 100 to 249 employees. The number of businesses with this number of employees has grown from 1,128 to 1,297, which is an increase of 15.0%.

The smallest percentage change in the number of businesses has been in businesses with 5 to 9 employees. The number of businesses with this number of employees has grown from 16,806 to 16,841, which is an increase of 0.2%.

Table: Change in the number of Businesses by Size of Business, since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees54,89949,08911.8%
5-9 Employees16,84116,8060.2%
10-19 Employees12,42311,3639.3%
20-49 Employees7,8396,85814.3%
50-99 Employees2,5062,3317.5%
100-249 Employees1,2971,12815.0%
250-499 Employees3733487.2%
500-999 Employees11510113.9%
More Than 1,000 Employees57537.5%


Employment Growth by Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the number of employees has been in businesses with 100 to 249 employees. The number of employees in companies this size has grown from 167,655 to 193,978, which is an increase of 15.7%.

The smallest percentage change in the number of employees has been in businesses with 5 to 9 employees. The number of employees with this number of employees has grown from 110,216 to 110,119, which is an increase of -0.1%.

Table: Change in the number of Employees by Size of Business, since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees90,83984,5297.5%
5-9 Employees110,119110,216-0.1%
10-19 Employees166,178151,3089.8%
20-49 Employees230,930203,12813.7%
50-99 Employees169,576158,2587.2%
100-249 Employees193,978167,65515.7%
250-499 Employees127,069118,2327.5%
500-999 Employees74,69767,13911.3%
More Than 1,000 Employees114,968104,5689.9%


Weekly Wage Growth by Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the average weekly wage has been in businesses with 1,000 or more employees. The average weekly wage in companies this size has grown from $1,044 to $1,461, which is an increase of 39.9%.

The smallest percentage change in the average weekly wage has been in businesses with 250 to 499 employees. The average weekly wage in companies this size has grown from $806 to $1,013, which is an increase of 25.7%.

Table: Change Average Weekly Wage by Size Since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees$832$61136.2%
5-9 Employees$736$55233.3%
10-19 Employees$740$58127.4%
20-49 Employees$788$62126.9%
50-99 Employees$845$63133.9%
100-249 Employees$925$70132.0%
250-499 Employees$1,013$80625.7%
500-999 Employees$1,206$91032.5%
More Than 1,000 Employees$1,461$1,04439.9%



Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.