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Ames Economy Humming Along- With One Concern

AMES, Iowa- The Ames Economy is continuing to move forward at a brisk pace. At the Ames Economic Outlook Breakfast on Tuesday, The Ames Chamber of Commerce members heard about positive developments in the Story County Economy.

“In the last 15 months, on projects that the Chamber and the AEDC has worked on 623 jobs, 636,687 square feet,” said Ames Chamber President, Dan Culhane. “Here’s the number everybody should be excited about when you think about economic impact or economic benefit, $328,328,000 dollars.”

Featured speaker ISU Economist Peter Orazem told that group that due to the great job market in central Iowa, people would continue to move here.

“I don’t think that we need to worry about where job growth is in our area,” said Orazem. “If they’re in our commuting area, we benefit from it.”

Orazem said there is concern about one segment of the local economy, at Iowa State.

“The University has announced for the second year that we’ve had lower enrollments, the enrollment reductions are not small, 1200 fewer students is about 100 jobs,” said Orazem. “If we do not have private sector expansion in a time when the university is contracting we’re going to have some problems.”

Orazem said that on the plus side Ames has the highest wages of any community in Iowa.

“People work in Ames because the wages in Ames are in the highest average wages in the state,” said Orazem. “If you put Iowa City, Des Moines, and Ames together, those are the highest average wages.”

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