News Releases -
Business & Economy
Written by Ann Black
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 13:54
AARP Study Quantifies Social Security Benefits’ Critical Contributions to National, State Economies
DES MOINES, Oct. 1 – A new study from the AARP Public Policy Institute calculates that each dollar paid to Social Security beneficiaries in Iowa generates nearly two dollars ($1.74) in spending by individuals and businesses, adding about $13.5 billion in total economic output to the Iowa economy – contributing to the $1.4 trillion total economic output Social Security added to the national economy – in 2012. The report finds the $8.3 billion paid in Social Security benefits to Iowans in 2012 helped create or maintain more than 95,000 jobs.
Social Security’s Impact on the National Economy details the powerful multiplier effect created when Social Security recipients spend their benefits and the companies that receive those dollars spend their profits and pay their employees, who in turn spend their wages. The report provides both national and state-level data.
“This report tells us that any adjustments Washington makes to Social Security will have a profound effect on individuals of all ages, businesses and our economy as a whole,” said AARP State Director Kent Sovern. “That’s why AARP is fighting the chained CPI and calling for a national conversation about the future of Social Security – so those who paid into the system can have a voice in the debate and so future generations get the benefits they’ve earned.”
AARP Iowa Associate State Director for Advocacy Anthony Carroll and AARP national leaders are visiting Capitol Hill offices today to deliver the report to Iowa’s Members of Congress, along with a summary report of comments from more than 3,000 Iowans on their concerns about Social Security and Medicare collected by AARP during the 2013 Iowa State Fair. Starting this week and continuing over the next 78 days – in honor of Social Security’s 78th anniversary – AARP Iowa will be elevating the voices of Iowans about Social Security in daily social media activities. In addition, AARP Iowa volunteers will also be delivering to more than 20,000 signed petitions to Congressional district offices representing Iowans opposed to the chained CPI.
Social Security benefit payments in 2012 supported more than $370 billion in salaries, wages and compensation for workers across the country. Of the more than nine million jobs supported by Social Security spending, about four million were in just ten industries. Nationally, the largest employment impacts were seen in the food services, real estate, health care and retail industries.
In addition to illustrating Social Security’s vital role in supporting national and local economies, jobs and workers’ incomes, this report reiterates the importance of Social Security as a vital source of income for millions of Americans. Social Security benefits keep 22 million people out of poverty, including more than 15 million older Americans, and serve as the foundation of a secure retirement for more than 435,929 Iowans age 65+ who receive Social Security benefits.
Social Security’s Impact on the National Economy uses an economic modeling system known as IMPLAN to calculate the multiplier effect and trace the impact of Social Security spending through the national and state economies. View the full report and details on methodology here:
Additional resources are available at www.aarp.org/socialsecurity and www.earnedasay.org.
News Releases -
Business & Economy
Written by Brian Jennings
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 12:40
A Shutdown Would Slam Middle-Class Families and Small Businesses
A shutdown could delay financial support for Iowa’s small businesses. In FY2012, the SBA’s flagship 7(a) and 504 loans programs approved 53,847 applications and supported 571,383 jobs, for an average of just over 1,000 applications per week. A shut down would put a stop to this critical source of small business credit until the government resumes operation. According to the SBA, Iowa is home to 61,633 small businesses. [Small Business Administration FY14 Budget Justification; SBA]
A shutdown could delay military pay and hurt military families in Iowa. The Department of Defense estimates that during a shutdown nearly half of the civilian workforce would be sent home without pay, while the rest would continue to work for delayed pay, impacting the 1,603 civilian workers in Iowa. 12,480 servicemembers in Iowa would remain on duty, but would see their pay delayed if the shutdown extends for more than 10 days. Military members, veterans, retirees, and their families are on pace to redeem more than $100 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits this year and many service members, especially the most junior, live paycheck to paycheck. [Military.com, 9/20/13; Huffington Post, 6/19/13; DoD]
A shutdown could put 9,000 federal employees in Iowa out of work. Federal employees around the country would potentially be furloughed in the event of a government shutdown. These workers may see reductions in their pay from the time they were forced to stay home because the government was shuttered. [Census; Washington Post, 9/23/13]
Possible Additional Consequences of a Government Shutdown
Many federal agencies are still attempting to determine exactly how a shutdown would impact their programs and operations. The following are consequences of previous government shutdowns that may or may not come to pass in a future shutdown.
Social Security checks for new seniors. Although checks for current Social Security benefits would still go out during a shutdown, applications for new benefits would be delayed and services for seniors could be significantly curtailed. As a result of furloughs and service cuts during the last shutdown, 112,000 claims for Social Security and disability benefits were not be taken, 212,000 applications for Social Security Numbers were not taken, and 800,000 callers were denied service on the Social Security Administration’s 800 number. In 2012, 600,699 people received Social Security benefits in Iowa. [SSA History; SAA, 2012]
Veterans benefits. New veterans’ educational, compensation and pension benefits processing could be delayed. During the 1995-96 shutdowns, more than 400,000 veterans saw their disability benefits and pension claims delayed, while educational benefits were delayed for 170,000 veterans. Iowa has 233,815 veterans. [Army Times, 2/3/11; CNN, 1/4/96; VA]
School readiness. A government shutdown could force Head Start centers around the country to close. During FY12, an estimated 1,600 Head Start agencies served over 950,000 children, including 8,133 children in Iowa. [CAP, 4/11; HHS; CRS, 1/9/13]
News Releases -
Business & Economy
Written by Tim Albrecht
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 08:43
(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today marked the start of National Manufacturing Week at their weekly news conference, highlighting the contributions made by manufacturers and their employees through a proclamation, and launching a tour of various facilities throughout Iowa.
“Though we appreciate the contributions of manufacturers each and every day, Manufacturing Week will give us a special opportunity to highlight and celebrate Iowa’s manufacturing sector,” said Branstad.
There are over 3,500 companies engaged in manufacturing in Iowa, employing over 211,000 Iowans with an average wage of more than $51,000. All told, the manufacturing sector contributes over $27.6 billion, or 18 percent, to Iowa’s Gross State Product.
The lieutenant governor added the tour is a way to say thank you to Iowa’s employers, while finding ways to encourage additional job growth through Iowa’s manufacturing sector.
“As we travel the state this week and throughout our time in office, we want to use this as yet another opportunity to listen to our constituents, and to find ways to continuously improve our great state,” said Reynolds.
The governor and lieutenant governor’s Manufacturing Week tour is as follows:
Monday, Sept.30, 2013
11:15 a.m. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds visit Agri-Drain
1462 340th St.
1:30 p.m. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds visit Bohlmann, Inc.
2302 Yellow Smoke Rd.
Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013
10 a.m. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds visit Miller Products
1015 N. Main St.
Noon Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds visit East Penn Manufacturing
East Penn Manufacturing
2185 Iowa 2 West
Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013
8:30 a.m. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds visit Lisle Corporation
813 E Main St.
10:15 a.m. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds visit Red Oak Manufacturing
Red Oak Manufacturing
2400 N. Broadway
Red Oak, IA
12:30 p.m. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds visit Atlantic Bottling Company
Atlantic Bottling Company
4 E. 2nd St.
2 p.m. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds visit Quality Machine of Iowa
Quality Machine of Iowa
1040 4th Ave.
Friday, Oct. 4, 2013
1:30 p.m. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds visit Wapsie Valley Creamery
Wapsie Valley Creamery
300 10th St. NE
3:45 p.m. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds visit Bennett Machine and Fabricating
Bennett Machine and Fabricating
103 Chamber Dr.
# # #
News Releases -
Business & Economy
Written by Heidi Smith
Monday, 30 September 2013 15:39
(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, in conjunction with Sen. Tom Harkin, today announced that they will co-host a forum on “Empowering Individuals with Disabilities through Employment” on October 17, 2013.
“This forum will provide a great opportunity to bring together business leaders, individuals with disabilities and various stakeholders to share best practices and highlight individuals with disabilities who have excelled in the workforce or successfully started their own business,” said Gov. Branstad.
“This event will explore avenues to enable all Iowans an opportunity to contribute in the workplace and to help create jobs and grow family incomes throughout our state,” said Lt. Gov. Reynolds. “We look forward to learning from business leaders who have established best practices for training, hiring, and retaining individuals with disabilities as an important part of their strategy to improve their business’s bottom line.”
Branstad added: “Senator Harkin has been a long-time advocate for individuals with disabilities and we look forward to co-hosting this discussion on empowering individuals with disabilities through employment.”
“Individuals with disabilities throughout Iowa are an untapped resource,” said Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. “We should work together to ensure their abilities, skills, and knowledge are put to work for the betterment of all Iowans. I commend the Governor and Lt. Governor for bringing this conversation to our state. ”
Further details on the event follow:
Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds, and Sen. Harkin host forum on “Empowering Individuals with Disabilities through Employment.”
FFA Enrichment Center
1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway
*Note: There will be resource information on display an hour before (10 a.m. - 11 a.m.) and one hour after (1 p.m. - 2 p.m.) the official discussions.
RSVP: There is no cost to attend, but for planning purposes, interested individuals are asked to RSVP to
or via phone at 515.725.3533 by Monday, October 14, 2013.
Background: Join business leaders, individuals with disabilities and various stakeholders for two panels as we explore best practices for employing persons with disabilities and improving the bottom line of Iowa businesses. The panel discussions will provide an opportunity to hear directly from employers, individuals with disabilities who have excelled in the workforce, and individuals with disabilities who have successfully started their own businesses. Learn about best practices, resources, and strategies for recruitment, accommodations, retention and advancement, as well as the benefits of employing individuals with disabilities. By empowering individuals with disabilities through employment we can all take steps to create jobs and grow family incomes. David Mitchell, the Administrator of Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation, will moderate two panel discussions with various stakeholders, including additional state leaders. In addition, businesses and support organizations will share information on best practices and available resources. Specific objectives of the forum will be to renew a discussion to:
- Encourage and Inspire Individuals with Disabilities to Help Get More Iowans Working
- Engage Business Community to Take Next Steps to Empower Individuals with Disabilities
- Show How Businesses Can Strengthen Their Bottom Line by Hiring Individuals with Disabilities
- Motivate Relevant Stakeholders to Redouble Efforts
- Highlight Success Stories of Individuals in the Workplace
- Highlight Individuals Who Have Started Their Own Business
- Highlight Businesses Who Have Provided Leadership and Developed Best Practices
- Clarify Existing Resources for Businesses to Leverage
- Discuss Challenges and Solicit Recommendations to Overcome Challenges
Accommodations: If you are a person with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact Heidi Smith,
, 515-725-2816 by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, October 10, 2013.