Iowa unemployment rate drops for third-consecutive month

BY EMMA WILLIS | JUNE 24, 2013 5:00 AM

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Unemployment in the state of Iowa is once again on the decline, yet again mirroring a national trend.
According to an Iowa Workforce Development June 20 report, unemployment has declined for the third consecutive month.

Now standing at 4.6 percent, the unemployment has declined substantially since 2009, when the percent out of work employees stood at 6.1 percent and last year’s numbers of 5.3 percent.

Nationals numbers eased back up to 7.6 percent, after slipping to 7.5 percent in April.

“The Iowa job market picked up momentum in May, as businesses added more jobs than anticipated,” Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development, said in a press release.

David Swenson, Assistant Scientist in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University, said he is optimistic about the numbers.

“It means more employment, it means more productivity and it means more incomes being earned,” he said.

The report also showed that the estimated unemployed persons dropped from 77,600 in April to 76,800 in the month of May.

Total employment in the state rose to 1,576,800 over last April’s 1,571,000.

May also saw an increase in nonfarm employment increasing to 1,523,900, 5,300 higher than April, and up 18,200 from last year.

The state saw an influx of 3,000 new jobs in professional service jobs, as well as 2,200 more construction jobs added last month, the release said.

Growth in financial activities as well as trade, transportation and utilities were also be seen, while leisure and hospitality as well as education, health services, and government services saw employment numbers decline.  

Although he said underemployment numbers remain unknown, Swenson said Iowa now has more people working part time, involuntarily, then we’ve ever had in previous recessions since World War II.

Swenson said he remains optimistic that the month of June will show continued employment growth.

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