CIRAS DIGEST: Tuesday, April 19, 2016

  • This just in: The Des Moines Register says Polk County is forming a task force to study a possible county-wide minimum wage increase. Two supervisors think Polk needs its own minimum wage in the vicinity of $12 per hour. [Johnson Couny already has its own minimum wage which is scheduled to hit $10.17 in 2017.]
  • ICYMI, according to Reuters, Toyota and some other major firms were “hit by quake damage, supply disruptions” after the earthquake in Japan last week.
  • Closer to home, a Cedar Rapid Gazette story quotes some Iowa distilleries as saying their efforts to gain more legal authority to sell their products on their premises are being thwarted by “Big Beer.” The distilleries want the ability to sell spirits by the glass. But a bill in the Iowa Legislatures, which is opposed by the Iowa Wholesale Beer Distributors Association and Anheuser-Busch, has gone nowhere.
  • The Gazette also had a piece on the release of a new survey by the Iowa Business Council, which predicts that more than 100,000 workers will retire in Iowa over the next five years. The story contents that this will end up “leaving the state to beg even more for workers.”
  • And another thing for the ICYMI pile: According to Bloomberg, U.S. manufacturing output fell in March by “the most in more than a year, underscoring traders’ views that the Federal Reserve faces an uphill battle in raising interest rates.”
  • Meanwhile, Iowa’s unemployment rate is now up to 3.8 percent, according to state numbers reported by the Des Moines Business Record.
  • Meanwhile, The (Waterloo) Courier quotes two economists (one being Iowa State University’s Dave Swenson) as describing two economic recoveries in Iowa – one healthy and one not so much, depending on where you live and what industry you’re in.
  • If you’re interested in numbers, The Nation, a Thailand newspaper, has an Opinion piece documenting how China’s manufacturing economy has been sliding up the value chain over the last four years, switching gradually from lower- to higher-tech goods. [The author argues that Thailand should do the same.]

Thanks for reading.

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