DES MOINES – Iowa’s postsecondary educational attainment increased to 60.2% in 2019, growing by 2.6% from 57.6% reported in 2018. Iowa Workforce Development’s annual Laborshed Survey indicates an upward trend of postsecondary completion among Iowans. The data is also used to measure the state’s progress toward reaching the Future Ready Iowa goal of having 70 percent of Iowans with postsecondary credentials by 2025.

“Future Ready Iowa is making a difference for Iowans looking for a way up,” said Gov. Reynolds. “But we are just getting started, and today’s results don’t even consider the 6,000 Iowans who received a Last Dollar Scholarship in 2019 to get into a high-demand job. As more Iowans find the skills and training they need to move into a life-changing career, we can guarantee that opportunity lives here for decades to come.”

The survey data focuses on those 25 to 64 years of age to allow for postsecondary educational completion for the 18-24 age group. Additionally, there has been a decrease in Iowans without a high school diploma in the last decade.

“Under Governor Reynolds’ leadership, Iowa has begun to see increases in our overall  education attainment and the 2.6% increase in 2019 is a positive sign of our progress," said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development. "Given the 2019 data does not yet capture the results of the investments made to date in Future Ready Iowa programs like the Last-Dollar Scholarship and the Employer Innovation Fund, we will hopefully see continued progress and by larger margins in coming years.”

Iowa Workforce Development’s Labor Market Information Division has conducted local area surveys for the past 20 years. Statewide surveys began in 2008.  Iowans between the ages of 18-64 are surveyed by phone or online and are asked about employment status, education level, and occupation. Analysis is based upon a total of 6,000 surveys that were taken by residents in every ZIP code across the state, with the total gathered in each ZIP code being based on its population.

The full Laborshed Survey report will be available at the end of March on the following website: