<strong>Chelsea Keenan</strong> is the Business Record&rsquo;s Retail &amp; Business beat reporter.<br /><br /><strong>Have an idea or tip?</strong> <a href="mailto:chelseakeenan@bpcdm.com">chelseakeenan@bpcdm.com</a> or (515) 288-3336
Chelsea Keenan is the Business Record’s Retail & Business beat reporter.

Have an idea or tip? chelseakeenan@bpcdm.com or (515) 288-3336

Iowa unemployment rate drops below 5 percent

Iowa’s unemployment rate inched down to 4.9 percent in November from 5.1 percent in October, according to Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) figures.

The national unemployment rate for November was 7.7 percent. National unemployment fell below 8 percent in September to 7.8 percent, then 7.9 percent in October.

The approximate number of unemployed Iowans in November was 80,400, compared with 93,400 one year earlier.

The state unemployment rate stood at 5.6 percent in November 2011. Read full story

New leader for Hy-Vee

Hy-Vee Inc. named Randy Edeker chairman, president and CEO in May to replace Ric Jurgens, who stepped down from the position after 43 years with the company.

Edeker, previously the president and chief operating officer, is a quiet leader who chooses to stay out of the spotlight. He steadily worked his way up through the ranks at Hy-Vee, beginning his career in a part-time position and reaching the top after 30 years.

“I don’t think many people grow up intending to be in the grocery business,” he said. “They find a job that they love and that works and they stay.” Read full story

Whole Foods comes to Greater Des Moines

Natural foods giant Whole Foods Market Inc. took a bite out of the Greater Des Moines market in late July, when it opened a 30,000-square-foot store in West Des Moines.

To open a a new Whole Foods store, the retailer requires a population of 200,000 people or more within a 20-minute drive of the proposed store site and a large number of college-educated residents, according to its website.

Kate Klotz, Midwest regional spokeswoman for Whole Foods, said the company is happy with the store’s sales so far and has plans to expand its reach.

“We haven’t signed any new leases yet, but our regional president has said he’d like to build at least one more store in the Des Moines area and maybe more elsewhere in the state,” she said.

Whole Foods plans to increase its store count from 300 to 1,000 nationwide. Read full story