Frequently viewed as a bastion of farming, agriculture is in fact only a small
portion of a diversified economy in the state of Iowa. Dwarfing agriculture, the
engines of manufacturing, biotechnology, finance and insurance services, and
government services have helped drive the economy and provided the economic
diversity that has allowed Iowa to weather The Great Recession better than most
Fully 16% of Iowa's workforce is dedicated to manufacturing,
primarily in the areas of food processing, heavy machinery, and agricultural
chemicals. Within the category of food processing, major companies with
operations in Iowa include ConAgra Foods, Heinz, Wonder Bread/Hostess Snack
Cakes, General Mills, and Quaker Oats.
Non-food manufacturing industries are represented by companies such
as ALCOA, 3M, Amana Corporation, Electrolux/Frigidaire, Fisher Controls
International, HON Industries, IPSCO Steel, John Deere, Lennox Manufacturing,
Maytag Corporation, Pella Corporation, and Winnebago Industries.
A strong financial and insurance sector is represented by companies
including AEGON, Nationwide Group, Aviva USA, Farm Bureau Financial Services,
ING, Marsh Affinity Group, MetLife, Principal Financial Group, Wellmark Blue
Cross & Blue Shield, and Wells Fargo.
A state with a diversified economic base, on the cutting edge of
technology (from biotech to alternative energies), and with a unemployment rate
of 5.2% as of November 2011, it's little wonder that Iowa consistently ranks
near the top on nationwide business and 'quality of life' surveys.
Additional information can be found
regarding Iowa's economy and key employers by visiting Wikipedia: Iowa Economy.