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Iowa’s unemployment rate remains 4.4 percent

Published: Monday, July 21, 2014 11:07 a.m. CST

DES MOINES — Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 4.4 percent in June.  The state’s jobless rate stood at 4.8 percent one year ago.  The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent in June from 6.3 percent in May.

“Iowa’s economic expansion increased in June,” Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert said.  “While Iowa’s unemployment rate remained unchanged since last month, the second quarter proved prosperous as Iowa’s nonfarm employment gained 10,800 jobs over the past three months, more than offsetting the sluggish first quarter start.”

The number of unemployed Iowans increased to 74,500 in June from 73,900 in May.  The current estimate is 6,000 lower than the year ago level of 80,500.  The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,624,600 in June from 1,624,100 in May.  This figure was 500 higher than May, and 32,100 higher than one year ago. 

Iowa nonfarm employment totaled 1,549,600 jobs in June, 3.  This month’s gain marks the third straight increase, and was the result of job gains in the service sectors; goods producing industries were little changed since May (-100).  Government added jobs at the local (+3,100) and state (+1,200) levels, more than offsetting a decline in private services (-1,200).    This month’s increase also leaves Iowa 22,100 jobs higher than one year ago (+1.4 percent).

Other services added the most jobs this month (+900) due to hiring in membership organizations coupled with repair and maintenance shops.  Leisure and hospitality also grew this month (+800) as the result of gains in recreational industries.  Wholesale trade fueled a gain of 700 jobs in trade and transportation, more than offsetting an unexpected drop in retail trade.  Both construction and mining advanced slightly this month, up 200 and 100 jobs, respectively.  Alternatively, losses were heaviest in private education industries (-1,700), and generally due to schools beginning the summer break early.  Professional and business services shed jobs this month in both professional and technical services along with administrative and support staff.  Finance decreased for the first time since February (-600), and now remains up just 100 jobs versus this time last year.

Annually, nonfarm employment continues to trend upward with the largest gains being in leisure and hospitality (+4,500), trade and transportation (+4,000), and construction (+3,100).  All sectors of the Iowa economy have added jobs since last June except for Information services (-1,100), as the advances in technology have steadily decreased demand for labor.