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Unemployment rate drops to 4.6 percent

DES MOINES — Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent in October from 4.7 percent in September.

The current rate is also much improved from the October 2012 rate of 5.1 percent.  Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent in October from 7.2 percent in September.

“Despite some of the adverse effects of the federal government shutdown, Iowa’s economic expansion remained on track in October,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. 

“The state’s unemployment rate continued to decrease in October, while the labor force and total employment measures were at their highest levels for the year.”

The statewide estimate of unemployed persons decreased to 75,900 in October from 78,700 in September and 82,600 in October 2012.  The current count of unemployed is at its lowest point for the year.

The total number of working Iowans reached a current-year peak of 1,583,300 in October.  This figure is 3,000 higher than September and 35,700 higher than one year ago.   

Seasonally Adjusted

Nonfarm Employment

Total nonfarm employment in Iowa declined by 800 jobs in October, bringing employment to 1,524,100. 

After reaching an all-time high of 1,533,400 in July, nonfarm employment suffered job losses for the next three months. 

The October loss could be partially attributable to the federal government shutdown.

Education and health services accounted for the largest job gain in October at 2,600.  Gains in the sector were evenly divided between education and health care. 

This month’s increase also puts the sector at a record high for both education and health care services. 

Manufacturing rebounded this month (+1,600) following three consecutive months of losses.  Both durable and nondurable goods factories added jobs this month.  Although manufacturing led the recovery following the last recession, hiring in the sector began to cool during the second half of 2013. 

Leisure and hospitality added 600 jobs in October due to gains in the arts and entertainment industries.     

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