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Likely Hiring Slowdown in Iowa

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A group of Iowa’s business leaders reports a slowdown in the number of people they expect to hire. The decline in the Iowa Business Council's latest report is likely a result of global economic forces driving down exports.

The survey finds that 30 percent of the group’s CEOs and chairmen say they’ll likely hire in the next six months. That’s down from 45 percent in the group’s December survey.

Executive Director Elliott Smith attributes this projected decline to weak agricultural commodity prices, a strong U.S. dollar, the shaky future of the European Union, and China’s sluggish economy.

"Many of the companies involved in the survey have very significant export markets," says Smith. "I think we're starting to see a bit of an indication of caution."

Smith adds that because Iowa has a diverse economy, the reverberations from low grain prices, for example, are moderated.  So while the survey results are disappointing, there's no cause for panic.

The Iowa Business Council is composed of 24 of the state’s major employers, who employ 250,000 Iowans. Membership, which is invitation only, includes the CEOs of Casey's General Stores, Hy-Vee, MidAmerican Energy Company, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa, and Principal Financial Group.