The Iowa economy grew at a 3.6 percent annual rate last year and is expected to reach 6.5 percent growth this year, according to the state Department of Economic Development.
That compares with a national average of 3.3 percent annual growth of about 5 percent.
The state’s economy was expected to expand 2.6 percentage points in the current fiscal year, up from 1.4 percentage points, the department said.
The growth rate, the biggest in the country, is expected “to be in the range of 3 to 4 percent, with the most notable gains being in agriculture and recreation,” according to data released by the department on Thursday.
Iowa has seen a rapid increase in population, and has added nearly half a million residents over the past decade, according the department.
Iowa is one of several states to see growth in the economic services industry.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Wednesday that there were 6.9 million full-time workers in the business and service sectors in the state in November, a 6.4 percent increase from the previous month.
It’s unclear how the state’s growth will affect unemployment.
According to the BLS, Iowa’s unemployment rate is 8.4%, compared with an average of 8.5% nationally.
Iowa’s overall unemployment rate fell to 7.3% in October, down from 8.8% in July.
The state is among the 10 states that saw the highest percentage increase in workers who moved to the city from the suburbs, the BJS said.