Durham Says State Needs More Workers To Meet Employment Goal

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By Richard Pratt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's economic development director says it will be hard to meet Gov. Terry Branstad's goal of 200,000 new jobs unless the state gains more workers.

The Des Moines Register reports that economic development director Debi Durham noted the state can't meet the 200,000 goal simply by putting unemployed people to work. Iowa's unemployment rolls now stand at about 76,500 workers.

Durham says, "We'll have to grow Iowa's population to get there."

She made her comments at time when the state has regained the number of jobs lost during the recession.

Iowa State University economist Peter Orazem says Iowa is seeing stronger job growth than in the 1990s, but he's skeptical the state can reach Branstad's goal. He says jobs creation comes first and will lead to population growth.

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