Steve Schulz
Steve Schulz
May 2, 2013

Carroll County's unemployment rate of 3.3 percent in March ranked as the second-lowest of Iowa's 99 counties, trailing only Lyon County in the far northwest corner of the state.

According to Iowa Workforce Development, the state's unemployment rate for March dropped to 4.9 percent from 5 percent in February, and was below March 2012 rate of 5.4 percent. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 7.6 percent in March from 7.7 percent in February.

Carroll Area Development Corp. president Steve Schulz, the provost of Des Moines Area Community College's Carroll campus, said the county's relatively low unemployment rate is a net positive for the Carroll region.

"The good news is there are jobs available in Carroll County," Schulz said. "We're growing, and that's why we are vacuuming up all the jobs."

Through his work at DMACC and the CADC, SChulz said, he's aware of employers looking to fill positions, affording Carroll an opportunity to grow its population and continue to serve as a regional magnet for jobs.

Carroll County's unemployment rate dropped from 3.6 percent in February.

The county's rate came in lower than those of all major metropolitan service areas in Iowa - Cedar Rapids, 5.3 percent; Des Moines, 5.0 percent; Iowa City, 3.5 percent; Sioux City, 5.2 percent; and Waterloo, 4.9 percent.

"The goal is certainly to compete with those people," Schulz said.

The unemployment rates in Carroll-area counties for March were: Audubon, 6.4 percent; Calhoun, 4.8 percent; Crawford, 4.4 percent; Greene, 5.3 percent; Guthrie, 6.3 percent; Sac, 4.8 percent.

Lyon County, near the Sioux Falls, S.D., and Minnesota labor markets, consistently owns the lowest unemployment rate in Iowa. In March, Lyon County's rate stood at 3.1 percent. Besides having the tri-state factor in its favor, Lyon County, population 11,800, is home to the $120-million Grand Falls Casino Resort, which opened in June 2011 and employs 520 people.

"It's just a unique area with a lot of opportunity," Schulz said.