These Are The 10 Cities In Iowa With The Lowest Unemployment Rate

by Chris Kolmar
Lowest Unemployment, Rankings - 3 years ago

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If you find yourself dissatisfied with where your career is, but not your home, you might be looking for a new job within your community — but how hard will finding one be in your hometown? To help, we present to you the cities in Iowa with the strongest job markets by unemployment rates.

Many people live where they do because a job brought them there, but if you’re trying to live up to a millennial stereotype and move to Iowa for some arbitrary reason… or even looking for a new job or moving to a state first and getting a job after, then the job market’s strength is especially important for you.

Well we went to the source of all things demographic data – the Census – to figure out which cities have the lowest unemployment. We set a threshold of city population and found data for each city in the Hawkeye State and crunched the numbers to find the cream of the crop:

  1. North Liberty(Jobs)
  2. Waukee(Jobs)
  3. Carroll(Jobs)
  4. Clive(Jobs)
  5. Coralville(Jobs)
  6. Ankeny(Jobs)
  7. Spencer(Jobs)
  8. Urbandale(Jobs)
  9. Pella(Jobs)
  10. West Des Moines(Jobs)

Even if you’re an employer looking for a strong community to relocate to, a highly employed population is a powerful indicator of a community’s overall health. And, in that regard, North Liberty takes the cake as the place in Iowa with the lowest unemployment rate.

Read on to see how we help you identify those places in Iowa that have the most robust job force.

Or for more Iowa job information, check out:

How We Determined The Cities In Iowa With The Lowest Unemployment Rates

Before we could dive into what Iowa’s most employed cities were, we needed to know where to look in the first place. We settled upon any place with over 10,000 people and data available for our criteria.

This left us with 38 places in Iowa.

We then looked at the unemployment rates to determine the cream from the crop when it comes to low unemployment, and our data comes directly from the latest American Community Survey from the Census.

We thought the rate alone was representative of the current state of each city’s job market with the potential for a person to get a job there, whether they were making an intrastate, interstate, or intercity job transfer.

We ranked all the cities for the criteria from one to 38 with one being the “most employed city in Iowa”. Where there was a tie, the winner went to the bigger city.

If your city or town isn’t among the top ten, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart. Otherwise, learn more about how the top ten cities achieved their potential.

1. North Liberty

North Liberty, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,503
Unemployment Rate: 0.3%
North Liberty comes in at the top of our list, taking the cake and not sharing a bit of it with only 0.3 percent unemployment, easily blowing away the competition as the top contender.

Certain perks come with being the gold medalist like always having a job.

2. Waukee

Waukee, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,944
Unemployment Rate: 0.8%
You might say that second place is actually the first place loser, but Waukee doesn’t… because it doesn’t look nearly as good on a dating profile as as “first runner-up” or “silver medalist”.

3. Carroll

Carroll, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 10,051
Unemployment Rate: 2.0%
And rounding out our champions’ podium is Carroll, earning the bronze medal with a score of 2.0 percent in the unemployment rate category.

4. Clive

Clive, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 16,246
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Following right behind in the number four slot is Clive. With a population of 16246 residents, Clive is a solid place to move in Iowa if you plan on getting your career search started.

5. Coralville

Coralville, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,677
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
The coveted #5 spot has fallen to the residents in Coralville. Numbering around 19677 people, this city is doing it big with decidedly desirable unemployment rate of 3.0%.

I’m really happy for them, you know, what with their stable careers and all.

6. Ankeny

Ankeny, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 49,488
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
The city of Ankeny is coming in at #6 with some solid numbers — not enough to blow you away, but enough to make you think twice about moving to another city you were thinking of just because of the dog parks.

7. Spencer

Spencer, Iowa

Source: Flickr

Population: 11,177
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Taking the bittersweet #7 spot is the town of Spencer. With a unemployment rate of 3.9 percent, this city is doing big things like a boss — like the one that’ll be hiring you in this solid job market.

8. Urbandale

Urbandale, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 41,157
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Coming in at #8, Urbandale has a job market strong enough to tempt people away from some of Iowa’s flashier cities where the unemployment rate isn’t as competitive.

9. Pella

Pella, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,343
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Finishing strong at #9 the town of Pella, where the unemployment rate is strong enough to keep this city, which is not at allknown as “The City of Hopes and Dreams”, but should consider adopting it.

10. West Des Moines

West Des Moines, Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 59,815
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Rounding out our list and coming in at #10 is the city of West Des Moines, Iowa. Don’t forget, just because it’s last place in this top ten list, that’s still out of 38.

West Des Moines’s parents are still proud of its life choices.

There You Have It – Unemployment Across Iowa

There you have it folks, the Ten Cities With the Lowest Unemployment in the state of {state}. They have the numbers and jobs to back it up.

If you’re just dying to move to the {nickname} and feel like throwing caution to the wind and moving-first- getting-employed-later, stick to the cities in our top ten.

If you’d like more information on different cities and states around the U.S. be sure to visit to have all of your questions answered — and if you’re a recent college graduate thinking about moving states, check out which states college grads tend to stay in and which states they abandon.

Here’s a quick look are the places in Iowa with the highest unemployment rate:

  1. Keokuk
  2. Fort Dodge
  3. Fort Madison

Detailed List Of Cities With The Lowest Unemployment In Iowa

City Rank Unemployment
North Liberty 1 0.3%
Waukee 2 0.8%
Carroll 3 2.0%
Clive 4 2.9%
Coralville 5 3.0%
Ankeny 6 3.6%
Spencer 7 3.9%
Urbandale 8 3.9%
Pella 9 4.0%
West Des Moines 10 4.0%
Bettendorf 11 4.1%
Storm Lake 12 4.2%
Johnston 13 4.2%
Marion 14 4.4%
Altoona 15 4.4%
Iowa City 16 4.7%
Cedar Falls 17 5.0%
Mason City 18 5.0%
Boone 19 5.2%
Muscatine 20 5.3%
Cedar Rapids 21 5.4%
Dubuque 22 5.5%
Council Bluffs 23 5.8%
Sioux City 24 5.8%
Davenport 25 5.9%
Ames 26 6.1%
Clinton 27 6.1%
Newton 28 6.6%
Indianola 29 7.2%
Burlington 30 7.6%
Des Moines 31 8.1%
Marshalltown 32 8.2%
Ottumwa 33 8.5%
Waterloo 34 8.9%
Oskaloosa 35 9.1%
Fort Madison 36 9.1%
Fort Dodge 37 9.4%
Keokuk 38 10.8%
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