These Are The 10 Worst Places In Iowa To Get A Job

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings - 3 years ago
Copied!

Swipe left for more images.
Advertisement. Article Continues Below.



Iowa has it all — beautiful landscapes, mountains, college sports, food, and, for the most part, jobs.

But certain parts of the Hawkeye State do a much better job at helping you get employed than others.

To help you better understand parts of the state that might not be gold mines, we decided to sit down and look at the data to pin-point the under-performers of Iowa.

After many hours of analysis, we arrived at this list of the worst places in Iowa to get a job:

  1. Webster City
  2. Toledo
  3. Corydon
  4. Cresco
  5. Clarion
  6. Audubon
  7. Leon
  8. Osceola
  9. Waukon
  10. Postville

Read on to find out how we determined which places would be the first ones fired from Iowa.

Advertisement. Article Continues Below.



How We Determined The Worst Places For Jobs In The Hawkeye State

After getting the data for about 1010 places in Iowa, we ultimately decided to limit our analysis to places with over 1,000 people to keep things as apples to apples as possible.

That left us with 290 places.

We then ranked each place across a number of criteria from one to 290, with 290being the worst.

Finally, we took the average rank across all criteria, with the place posting the highest overall score gaining the title “Worst Place For Jobs In North Carolina”.

The criteria we looked at were:

Population: 8,024
Unemployment Rate: 5.00%
Median Household Income: $38,220

Webster city takes the title of the worst place to get a job in Iowa. But in all honesty, that’s like calling the person that finishes last at the Olympics “the worst” athlete. Sure s/he finished last, but they are still an Olympian.

And in this case, Webster city may be last in Iowa but there a whole ton of places in North Carolina and New Jersey that would be super jealous of a 5% unemployment rate.

So while Webster City might be the worst in Iowa, it’s not all that bad for the good ole US of A.

2. Toledo

Worst Places For Jobs In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,291
Unemployment Rate: 5.70%
Median Household Income: $36,543

Holy Toledo Batman, Toledo ranks as the second worst place to get a job in Iowa.

And much like Robin, being second isn’t all that bad — while Toledo’s unemployment rate ranks as the eighth worst in the state, it has shown relatively strong recent job growth and prospects for future job growth.

So there’s definitely a light at the end of the job tunnel.

3. Corydon

Worst Places For Jobs In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 1,381
Unemployment Rate: 4.30%
Median Household Income: $35,909

Corydon takes the third spot in our ranking for the worst places in Iowa to get a job.

While it was not perform exceptionally poorly in any one category, the town scored in the bottom 10% for recent job growth, future job growth, and household median income.

Overall, it actually had the same score as Toledo, but its lower unemployment rate broke the tie.

4. Cresco

Worst Places For Jobs In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 3,873
Unemployment Rate: 4.60%
Median Household Income: $39,167

The fourth worst place for jobs in Iowa goes to Cresco.

It ranks as having the tenth worst recent job growth and the tenth worst prospects for future job growth in Iowa. However, that hasn’t yet impacted the unemployment rate and salaries of people, as those rank relatively well for places on our list.

5. Clarion

Worst Places For Jobs In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,819
Unemployment Rate: 4.40%
Median Household Income: $39,125

You might need to carry on your job search past Clarion as it ranks as the fifth worst place for jobs in the Hawkeye State.

This small town shares many of the same characteristics as Cresco, with just slightly better numbers across the board. It ranks as having the 11th worst recent job growth in the state and the 15th worst prospects for future job growth.

6. Audubon

Worst Places For Jobs In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,246
Unemployment Rate: 4.30%
Median Household Income: $40,750

This Audubon does not offer a fast track for jobs in Iowa as it ranks as the sixth worst in our analysis.

A relatively high income tax subtracts from a relatively high median household income and weak job growth prospects landed Audubon in this position.

7. Leon

Worst Places For Jobs In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 1,921
Unemployment Rate: 3.80%
Median Household Income: $23,750

Leon took a surprisingly different route to the title of the seventh worst spot in the Hawkeye State relative to the places we’ve talked about before it.

It actually has a significantly above average unemployment rate, but it’s median household income is the lowest in the state by a large margin. The weak wages are dampening job growth prospects and holding the small town back from performing better for jobs as a whole.

8. Osceola

Worst Places For Jobs In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 4,948
Unemployment Rate: 4.40%
Median Household Income: $40,194

Osceola places eighth on our list of worst places to get a job in Iowa and reverts back to the ways of places before Leon.

The town has recent job growth and future job growth numbers that place in the bottom 10% of places in Iowa. However, a decently strong unemployment rate prevented it from appearing lower on this list.

9. Waukon

Worst Places For Jobs In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 3,886
Unemployment Rate: 6.60%
Median Household Income: $38,787

Rounding out one of the bottom two spots on our list of the worst places to get a job in Iowa is Waukon.

Tying its neighbor to the south, Postville, Waukon has the worst unemployment rate in the Hawkeye state. However, it has relatively strong recent job growth, so that number should improve over time.

10. Postville

Worst Places For Jobs In Iowa

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,174
Unemployment Rate: 6.60%
Median Household Income: $39,010

And the earning the last spot on the list of the ten worst places to get a job in Iowa is Postville.

Being the neighbor of Waukon means that they share very similar characteristics on the job front. However, Postville just slightly edges out Waukon when it comes to median household income. That slight difference was the only difference between being tenth and ninth on this list.

For all intents and purposes, these two towns are the same.

Demotion Status Complete

There you have it when it comes to the worst places to get a job in Iowa.

The big cities of Iowa define the state’s job market — the further you live from Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, the harder jobs are to come by.

Interestingly enough, no two places directly border one another forming something of a shotgun pattern around the state.

A shotgun pattern of weak job prospects that is.