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Iowa Unemployment Rate Stable at 6.1 Percent

DES MOINES, IOWA ñ Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January remained stable at 6.1 percent. The newly revised labor force series for 2010 also places the month ago and year ago rates at 6.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the monthly snapshot of the national job market reflected a drop in the January unemployment rate to 9.0 percent from 9.4 percent a month earlier.

“The Iowa economic recovery is steadily gaining traction,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “The statewide unemployment rate is stable, total employment has been trending upward over the past few months, and nonfarm employment increased in January.”

The monthly estimate of unemployed persons declined to 102,100 in January from 102,600 in December. However, the current level is 900 higher than last January’s 101,200.

The total number of working Iowans rose to 1,576,500 in January, the highest level reported since April 2009. The January figure was up from 1,572,900 in December, and was 13,400 higher than the year ago total of 1,563,100.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment
Iowa’s nonfarm employment increased by 5,400 jobs in January, bringing the new total to 1,474,500. Both the service-providing and goods-producing sectors showed improvement this month, adding 3,900 and 1,500 jobs, respectively. All of the hiring in January occurred in private industries.

The professional and business services sector increased by 2,500 jobs during the month. Most of the gains were concentrated in business services, particularly in services to buildings and dwellings. However, an increase was also noted in professional services. Retail trade, which is included in the trade and transportation super sector, added 3,200 jobs in January as seasonal workers remained on the payroll into calendar year 2011. Health services posted a strong increase of 1,800 this month with growth shown in ambulatory health care along with nursing and residential care facilities. Construction added 1,300 this month, and leisure and hospitality advanced by 700. Government pared 1,300 jobs in January, primarily at the local level.

Compared to last year, nonfarm employment has increased by 10,100 jobs. The largest gains have been in professional and business services (6,100) and trade and transportation (4,100). Manufacturing added 1,800, and education and health care reflected a gain of 1,700. Finance reported the largest loss (-1,600), followed by other services (-1,400), and information (-1,200).|

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