The state is home to the headquarters of over 180 insurers and is thriving from this sector.
Iowa is making unique insurance news this week as the state has been marked as receiving a higher percentage of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from that industry and the finance industry than any other state. This, according to a recent announcement from Debi Durham, Iowa Economic Development Authority director.
With over 180 insurers headquartered in the state, this has become a critical part of its GDP.
Iowa’s primary reputation hasn’t necessarily been in financial and insurance news, but perceptions aside, it has indeed become a powerhouse home for insurers – more than 180 of them.
“I have to say this is bragging rights for the state of Iowa. We took over the number one place in the nation ranking as far as GDP growth for insurance,” said Durham. “It used to be Delaware, Connecticut, then Iowa, but we were kind of far behind Connecticut and then Nebraska and so we took that number one space.”
Data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showed that the industry comprises at least 16 percent of the jobs in metro Des Moines. With such a large percentage of people working in the industry from the state’s capital city, it’s likely that it won’t be long before the reputation really does shift in a new direction.
While manufacturing is still the top Iowa industry, this insurance news is an important shift.
Durham was careful to point out that manufacturing is still the top industry in the entire state. Still, with such a large and growing influence from insurers to the state GDP, it is far from possible to overlook it anymore, particularly with figures now topping the entire country.
“Manufacturing is actually our DNA,” stated Durham. “It is the largest part of our Gross State Product.”
Of all Iowa’s exports, 64 percent are generated through its manufacturing plants. About 15 percent of the entire workforce in the state is employed by a manufacturing company.
“A large amount of research and development happens in this space,” said Durham. In fact, the Iowa Economic Development Authority showed that in the state, manufacturing jobs pay about 25 percent more than the average private sector job wage.
This says a lot about the recent insurance news regarding the increasing contribution of that industry in the state, as it clearly has competition when it comes to hiring.