Economy

This Small Iowa City Has The Lowest Jobless Rate In America

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Released its METROPOLITAN AREA EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT — OCTOBER 2020, the latest month available. The U.S. jobless rate for the month was 6.9%, not seasonally adjusted. Of America’s 389 metropolitan areas, the jobless rate was up in 384 compared to October 2019. Of these of 124 metropolitan areas had unemployment rates of less than 5% percent and 16 had rates of 10% or more.

Only one metro area had an unemployment rate of under 2%. It was 1.9% in Ames, Iowa.

Aimes ranks 323rd based on population among America’s city at 123,351. It is sparsely populated. Covering 1,141 square miles, its population density is only 108 people per square mile. The median age in Ames is 30 years old. Over 85% of the population is White, much above the national average.

The median household income in Ames is $62,181, which is below the national average of $68,400. The poverty rate at 15.6% is about 25% above the average for the United States.

The median value of a home in Ames is $185,800, about three-quarters of the median for the U.S.

Nearly 97% of the people in Ames have an education at the level of high school graduate or higher. That is 10 points higher than the national average. Almost 45% have a bachelor’s degree or higher. That is 1.4 times the national average.

Ames has a massive student population. Iowa State University has 36,000 students.

Ames, the primary city in the MSA, operates under a Mayor-Council form of government with a City Manager.

Ames is located in the center of Iowa, north of Des Moines.

The BLS report about metro populations shows how wide the spread of unemployment is among cities, and how low the figure is in Ames:

Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI, had the highest unemployment rate in October,22.5 percent, followed by El Centro, CA, 18.8 percent. Ames, IA, and Burlington-South Burlington, VT, had the lowest unemployment rates, 1.9 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.

Ames is an outlier in terms of jobless rate if there ever was one.