MORE JOBS: Iowa’s unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent in October, down from 5.2 percent in September. An increase of 6,000 nonfarm jobs led the big month. Iowa is still 32,000 such jobs behind the peak of May 2008, but we’re trending the right way. Manufacturing has the biggest gain over a year, up 8,200 jobs.
ARTISTIC OPPORTUNITIES: There are signs that artists soon will have more opportunities to make a better living from their craft in Cedar Rapids. The just-opened NewBo City Market is attracting more visitors to the New Bohemia Arts and Entertainment District. Nearby CSPS /Legion Arts, recently renovated, is offering new programs to assist artists. The Cherry Building and other venues have expanded galleries and other space for artists. The newly restored/expanded National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library adds impact.
AG INTEREST: High-tech agriculture and booming farm markets are major bright spots for our state’s economy and job scene. And enrollment in Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is reflecting young Iowans’ interest: up 46 percent since 2005, with a record 3,900 students enrolled this fall.
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