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Iowa companies add hundreds of jobs, unemployment dips to lowest rate in nearly 17 years, governor’s office says

John Deere in Ankeny

DES MOINES – Two Iowa companies announced Friday they will add hundreds of jobs.

TPI Composites, Inc. said it plans to create 351 new jobs by opening a second manufacturing facility in Newton next year. The company currently manufactures wind turbine blades, but the new facility would manufacture bus bodies for electric-powered passenger buses. TPI has manufactured in Newton since 2008.

Deere & Co. said it plans to build a new facility in Urbandale to house its intelligent solutions group. The machinery company said it will create 31 jobs and keep 20 with the project.

Iowa Workforce Development also announced Friday the state’s unemployment rate in October dipped to its lowest level in nearly 17 years.

The rate decreased to 3 percent last month. That’s down from 3.6 percent in October 2016 and is the lowest level since January 2001. The biggest growth last month occurred in manufacturing. That sector has added 6,000 jobs in the last year.

Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent last month.

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