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Iowa’s unemployment rate drops to 3.7 percent

This news story was published on July 21, 2015.
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unemploymentDES MOINES – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent in June from 3.8 percent in May. The state’s jobless rate was 4.4 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.3 percent in June.

“For the fourth time this year, the unemployment rate is down,” said Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “As the low unemployment trend continues, encouraging gains are being seen in the retail sector; the business establishment survey added 3,000 retail jobs this month.”

The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 63,700 in June from 64,800 in May. The current estimate is 10,500 lower than the year ago level of 74,200.

The total number of working Iowans decreased to 1,640,800 in June. This figure was 4,900 lower than May, and 11,300 higher than one year ago.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Iowa’s nonfarm employment added 3,000 jobs in June, raising the total to 1,570,600 jobs. This month’s increase is the second-straight gain and heavily influenced by hiring in private services. Goods-producing industries added a slight 200 jobs, and government gained 700 after paring workers over the last few months. Despite recent weakness, government remains up 5,000 jobs versus last June due to hiring at the state and local levels. Total nonfarm employment for the state is up 23,400 jobs annually.

In June, the largest monthly movement occurred in trade and transportation (+4,300). This month’s increase was heavily influenced by strong hiring in retail trade following disappointing returns in April and May. Retail trade has steadily advanced over last year’s level since September and is now 4,000 higher than last June. Other monthly gains included professional and business services (+900), financial activities (+900) and other services (+400). Unexpected losses this month occurred in education and health services (-2,200) and leisure and hospitality (-2,100). Both of the sectors have had strong hiring through the first part of the year. Minor losses also occurred in information and mining.

Since last year, trade and transportation has added the most jobs (+7,600) and has been responsible for almost a third of all the new jobs in Iowa. Construction added a slight 200 jobs this month yet remains second in overall jobs added (+3,800) followed by professional and business services (+3,400). On the other hand, manufacturing was little changed since May and remains down 1,200 versus last year’s level. Losses have been due to cutbacks within Iowa’s durable goods factories (-3,300). The information sector continues to pare employment and is down 1,200 annually.

Also recently, Iowa Workforce Development unveiled a new website. The new website is at

IWD Director Beth Townsend praised the IWD team who spent more than a year working on the project. She said the new website is intuitive, adding, “Whether our clients are filing for unemployment or looking for a job, this website is user-friendly and easy to navigate. We have also streamlined the process for employers to post employment opportunities for Iowans.”

The new website improves the navigation experience and accessibility for all website users. Some of the new features include:

Easy to view on all devices- Whether users access the website from a smartphone, tablet or computer, the website easily adapts to all the different screen size options. This makes viewing content easier for all our customers.

Customer focused- The content is organized by what each user needs, rather than how the agency is organized. IWD customers will be able to quickly and easily identify what services fit their specific needs.

Division-specific websites- The Division of Labor and Workers’ Compensation Division will each have their own website, making their content easier to access and find when searching for information related to their divisions.

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7 Responses to Iowa’s unemployment rate drops to 3.7 percent

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 22, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Political HOGWASH ! Don’t believe it. So many people in the US in actual poverty – Vote for TRUMP !

  2. LVS Reply Report comment

    July 21, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Then why do I see so many young people walking around during working hours. These numbers do not allow for the people who have quit looking. Or people who have taken a lesser job or part time job. The real number is closer to 10%.

    • Polio Loco Reply Report comment

      July 22, 2015 at 1:42 am

      Maybe the same reason I see “Help Wanted” signs all the way up and down Highway 122… MAYBE these kids think they are worth more than they are? Maybe it’s just a bunch of “Cousin Eddies” holding out for a management job? In the past month, I’ve seen at least 2 new employment offices open up in Mason City. I bet there’s 1000 open jobs in North Iowa, if people would just get up and look.

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        July 22, 2015 at 8:43 am

        @Polio-I know a young man who registered with these so called employment agency’s. He has a Associates in accounting and in business management. He has a excellent record and can pass any and all drug test and background checks. He went back every day for three weeks and was never called but we know people with drug arrest who did get called. He finally gave up and just started making the rounds of businesses. He now has two jobs but if he waited on those agency’s that are only interested in their fees he would still be waiting. He tole me he stood in their office and heard them lie to their clients.

        • Joao de Carmo Reply Report comment

          July 22, 2015 at 9:13 am

          Job offers depend on what’s available and what is desired. Did you friend indicate that he was only looking for an accounting job?

          • LVS

            July 22, 2015 at 9:47 am

            No. He was open for anything. He had a excellent background in retail sales as well as being a machine operator. Everything those agency’s have is temporary work with no benefits. Everyone needs insurance these days.

          • Joao de Carmo

            July 22, 2015 at 11:34 am

            Yes they are temporary jobs, but Winnebago and others hire through these services. My daughter got on at ‘Bago this way. My son has a temporary part-time job at Kraft through one. At least with ManPower you can get (or could 7years ago) get insurance.