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Working in North Iowa – Job Availability

By Rachel Wumkes

It is truly an exciting time in North Iowa. 

Touted as a premier location in the Midwest, businesses and investors are seizing the opportunity to expand, growing new possibilities throughout North Iowa. 

With this growth, coupled with the increasing popularity of remote employment, we are seeing an influx of new residents into the region. 

I’m not surprised, really.  I’d take the vivid orange and golden hues of a Midwest sunset across a landscape of growing corn any day over a concrete jungle with skyscrapers blocking my view!  The peacefulness, the simplicity, the abundance of helpful, friendly people… North Iowa is a catch. 

Still, a common concern of those looking to relocate to this area is finding work.  Are there jobs available? Is their ample opportunity for my spouse to find something suitable?

Whether you’re moving to North Iowa to be closer to family, to escape the confines and congestion of the big city, or because your significant other was relocated – never fear.  The job market is bursting with opportunities for you to find the perfect fit. 

And talk about variety!  Office jobs, manufacturing jobs, agriculture-based jobs, or jobs in retail – the list goes on and on, ensuring there is something to pique your interest.

With unemployment hovering at just 3%, North Iowa has entered that ‘sweet spot’ of the macroeconomic goal.  Doing this maximizes economic production, well-being, and efficiency. 

In the past 30 days, there have been just over 2,000 job postings for open positions in North Iowa.  While this encompasses every aspect of the workforce, including both full and part time, it’s a good snapshot into the atmosphere of employment availability in the area. 

As a bonus we currently sit at 83.9 on the cost-of-living index, which is 16% lower than the national average. 

What does that mean?  Well, it means your dollar goes further here.  Housing costs, food costs, childcare costs, they are affordable and easily attainable for North Iowa residents.  All those hours spent on the clock are well worth it when there’s some extra jingle in your pocket at the end of the week, right?

North Iowa also offers a unique experience as Fortune 500 companies and other large corporations work side-by-side with local small businesses.  This creates a healthy, diverse array of goods and services to the region and offers employment opportunities on all levels. 

The largest employer in North Iowa is MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center.  Comprised of Mercy hospital and a variety of specialty clinics, they account for approximately 2500 jobs and add over $200million to the local economy. 

Other leading employers include Curries, Sukup Manufacturing, Dean Snyder Construction, Winnebago Industries, Cargill, Principal, McKesson and Kingland Systems.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. North Iowa has felt the impact of an economic boom over the past decade and, while we braced ourselves for the impact, nothing could prepare us for the aftermath as shockwaves rippled through the region, causing a need to enhance our workforce and find able bodied employees who are looking to fulfill the American dream. 

Continuous expansion and investment by these key players in the region help North Iowa thrive and are a true testament to the quality workforce.  North Iowa is on the cusp of renewable fuel creation with various ethanol plants, wind farms, and the expansion into electronic vehicles by Pritchard’s. 

With the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center located on the NIACC campus in Mason City, those looking to create something of their own have the means for education and guidance.  According to their website the Center “serves as the primary source for entrepreneurship education programs, small business counseling and support services, and is a liaison for additional resources to enhance the entrepreneurial environment and improve client results.” 

See what I mean?  North Iowa is a mecca for opportunity.  Whether you’re looking to build something of your own or become employed for an existing company – the market is heating up, and the perfect opportunity is waiting for you!

So, where can you find all these hot jobs?

The local Chamber of Commerce for Mason City ( and Clear Lake ( have up-to-date listings available to search.  Another key resource is the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation, which is a hub of information pertaining to available jobs, key industries in the region, and other various statistics concerning the workforce.  Their website,, is a crucial component of regional growth as they compile listings and utilize their site to highlight important elements of North Iowa to attract workers of all kinds to the area. 

We are in a season of opportunity in North Iowa.  A time to build upon the foundation laid before us, to utilize our chance to make this region all it can be – a vibrant region filled with thriving people.

Welcome to North Iowa.

Welcome to possibility. 

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