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Iowa unemployment rate falls to lowest level in 32 months


This news story was published on March 14, 2012.
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Dave DeWitte, CR Gazette –

Iowa’s unemployment rate fell in January to 5.4 percent, its lowest level in 32 months, as manufacturers continued to bring back workers.

Manufacturers added 3,500 jobs in January, more than other sector. The leisure and hospitality sector added 3,200 jobs from the previous month.

“The Iowa economy is improving,” Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert said in a statement released Tuesday, March 13. She said the statewide unemployment rate began tracking rapidly downward in the final three months of last year.

The last time Iowa’s unemployment rate was below 5.4 percent was April 2009, when it stood at 5.3 percent.

The state also county and metro unemployment rates, which unlike the statewide rate are not adjusted for seasonal employment factors.

January often brings a drop in seasonal jobs in sectors such as retail and construction. Unemployment tracked upward from December in all five of the states metropolitan statistical areas and the vast majority of counties.

The unemployment rate in the Cedar Rapids MSA rose to 6.3 percent in January from December’s 6 percent, and th eunemployment rate in the Iowa City MSA rose to 4.4 percent from 4.2 percent in December.

Unemployment was slightly lower in the MSA cores of Cedar Rapids (6.1 percent) and Iowa City (3.5 percent).

The number of unemployed Iowans dropped by 3,000 from December’s level of 93,400. The number of working Iowans also increased by 3,000, Iowa Workforce Development reported, reaching 1,576,300.

State officials also released revised unemployment data for 2011. They showed Iowa with an average unemployment rate of 5.9 percent for all of 2011, sixth lowest in the nation.

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3 Responses to Iowa unemployment rate falls to lowest level in 32 months

  1. Katie Reply Report comment

    March 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    You are so right about the numbers being worthless. We need to get the private sector of our economy moving again. Or keep more of our tax money in THIS country to build more jails and provide more jobs that way.

    There are no incentives for real small businesses to hire more employees. The business I work for has added 4 positions in the last year, which is about a 35% increase in staff, but there are no perks for that. Just expenses and endless government reporting if you offer any benefits at all. It just slays me that a small employer offers his workers something for free that he is not even required to do and then the government saddles the employer with endless paperwork because of his generosity.

  2. We left Iowa Reply Report comment

    March 14, 2012 at 10:24 am

    We left Mason City and moved to Kansas to find work. What a wonderful change. We miss our friends but the weather and attitude of the people are so much better.

    It always amazes me that Iowa and Government in general don’t use proper statistics. It is all so phoney.

    Unemployment is much higher then they are admitting. Why I don’t know but it has to be hard on those that have been down so long.

    Actually these numbers are not news at all.

  3. Seriously? Reply Report comment

    March 14, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Of course the numbers went down…there is a limited amount of time you can draw unemployment, so some people are being phased out. Makes for good numbers, but bad for the people!!