Des Moines Register: Iowa unemployment rate drops to near pre-pandemic level, even as job recovery lags

By Tyler Jett
Des Moines Register, Jan 26, 2021

... 'As much money in as many hands as possible'

The new jobs report arrived Tuesday as Democrats, with control over both the U.S. House and Senate, began to map out economic policy priorities. The most prominent move so far: The roll-out of Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal. ...

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats introduced a bill Tuesday to gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour from $7.25 over the next four years. Mike Draper, owner of the Des Moines-based RAYGUN T-shirt and souvenir stores, spoke in favor of the legislation during a news conference hosted by the bill's sponsors.

Draper said he has raised his hourly wages in Des Moines to $13 from $9 since 2014 and expects to pay $15 an hour by next year. He said he believes the increase will boost small businesses because it will create more potential customers.

"It's been frozen in time," he said of the minimum wage, which has been at the current level since 2009. "This could be the most consequential and helpful economic relief that America has seen in a decade."

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