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Iowa Unemployment Rate at 5.3 Percent

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 5.3 percent in July from a revised June rate of 5.1 percent. The state’s jobless rate stood at 6.0 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate for July inched up to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent in June.

“The July jobs report demonstrates a slow and fragile economic recovery,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Nonfarm jobs are 12,500 higher than they were one year ago despite the global slowdown that has occurred over the past three months.”

The number of unemployed Iowans increased to 88,200 in July from 85,300 in June. The current estimate is 10,900 lower than the year ago level of 99,100.

The total number of working Iowans decreased to 1,563,400 in July from 1,573,300 in June. However, employment remains 4,000 higher than one year ago.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment
Iowa’s nonfarm employment increased by 2,300 jobs in July, raising the monthly total to 1,492,400. The increase halts two consecutive months of drops. However, the job gains in July were narrow in scope, occurring only in wholesale and retail trade, other services, local government and health care.

An increase of 5,200 in government led the July job gain, and was predominantly due to a shift in the summer break schedule for employees in local government education. Trade and transportation registered a gain of 400 as hiring was reported in both wholesale and retail trade. Other services added 200. Within the education and health services sector, an increase of 900 in health services was more than offset by a decrease of 1,000 in private education. Construction was down 1,200 in July following a relatively strong second quarter. Professional and business services pared 800 jobs this month. The losses were heaviest in administrative and support services, which includes temporary help, landscaping and waste management. Manufacturing followed last month’s large gain by shedding 600 jobs, mostly within nondurable goods factories. Finally, leisure and hospitality decreased by 500 jobs after two straight months of very large gains.

Total nonfarm employment in Iowa remains up 12,500 jobs or 0.8 percent since last July. Manufacturing has added more jobs than all other sectors combined, up 10,400. Despite this month’s contraction, construction remains up 1,800 jobs from last July. Other sectors that experienced large, year-over-year gains were finance (+1,700), professional and business services (+1,100), and other services (+1,000). Government shed the most jobs of any sector over the year (-2,700) with the largest loss reported for state government (-2,400). Other substantial job losses occurred in trade and transportation (-1,500) where decreases in retail trade and transportation offset an impressive gain of 2,400 in wholesale trade.

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