Ames and Iowa City are the Lands of Milk and Honey, Hope and Dreams

Ames - No ghost (down)town for business

Ames - No ghost (down)town for business

If you’re like me, you run from news stories that use the word “unemployment.” How many times can you hear or see the wordit, even if you’re one of the lucky ones to still be employed?

Well, here’s some good news:

Two of the 10 U.S. metropolitan areas with the lowest unemployment rates in January were Ames and Iowa City, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

Thanks to www.thewizofodds.com, via http://grg51.typepad.com/steroid_nation, we got led to this Wall Street Journal story telling us Ames was behind only Houma, La., in the lowest unemployment rate in the U.S. in January, with a paltry 3.8 percent.

Iowa City was a lofty seventh, at 4.1 percent. Iowa’s overall rate was 4.8 percent. It grew to 4.9 percent in February. But the national rate was 8.1 percent.

Yay, us!

Downtown Iowa City - business is still good

Downtown Iowa City - business is still good

As you can see in the WSJ story, most of the Top Ten are college towns. For an explanation, check out the story.

Living in Cedar Rapids, visiting Iowa City has always seemed like a bit of an escape from reality. It’s more so than ever now, and in a good way.

Waterloo, by the way, is 10th on the list. That shocked me. But we’re talking metro areas, and that covers another college town, Cedar Falls.

Cedar Rapids’ unemployment rate in January, by the way, was 5.5 percent. And we here all know it’s higher than that now.

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