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For Release: 9:00 a.m., September 19, 2014
Contact: Kerry Koonce: (515) 281-9646

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Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Remains at 4.5 Percent

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 4.5 percent in August, but was down from the August 2013 rate of 4.7 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped slightly to 6.1 percent in August compared to 6.2 percent in July.

“Iowa experienced gains in labor force, total employment, and nonfarm employment in August,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “The state’s labor force participation rate also continued to trend up this month, as an increasing percentage of Iowans seek employment.”

The number of unemployed Iowans remained at 76,700 in August. The current estimate is 1,400 lower than the year ago level of 78,100.

The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,626,300 in August from 1,623,900 in July. This figure was 2,400 higher than July and 31,300 higher than one year ago.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Iowa nonfarm employment added a slight 200 jobs in August, raising the total to 1,553,500 jobs. Although small, the increase is the fifth-consecutive for the state and is another all-time high. Goods-producing sectors of the economy shed a combined 1,500 jobs, but were overmatched by a gain of 2,300 in private service industries. Government shed 600 jobs this month due to declines in state and local government, but remains up 4,300 jobs compared to last year.

In August, professional and business services added 1,200 jobs that were fueled by gains in administrative support services, particularly temporary help services which experienced a surge in hiring this month. Leisure and hospitality also added 1,200 jobs which was bolstered by unexpected growth in arts and entertainment. Elsewhere, retail trade hiring (+1,400) offset losses in transportation and wholesale trade and led to a modest increase in the trade and transportation super sector (+500). Financial activities increased for the second straight month (+300), and mining added a slight 100 jobs. Losses this month were concentrated in construction (-1,100) and likely due to several projects ending early this summer. Health care services experienced an unexpected decline (-700), and led to a drop (-600) in the education and health care super sector, while manufacturing pared jobs for the third-straight month (-500).

Compared to last year, nonfarm employment in Iowa continues to trend upward, and has now added 18,000 jobs annually (1.2 percent). The professional and business services sector has added the most private industry jobs (+3,200), and has been fueled by strengthened staffing in administrative and support positions. The education and health services sector also remains significantly up (+2,700) due primarily to growth in health care industries (+2,000). The information services sector remains the only sector to trail last year’s level (-600).

MEDIA ALERT: An audio cut of comments about Iowa’s labor market situation is available by calling (515) 281-6057. Statewide and local data for September 2014 will be released on October 21.

Employment and Unemployment In Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data

       

Change from

  August
 2014
July
2014
August
 2013
July
 2014
August
 2013
Civilian labor force 1,703,000 1, 700,600 1,673,200 2,400 29,800
Unemployment 76,700 76,700 78,100 0 -1,400
Unemployment rate 4.5% 4.5% 4.7% 0.0 -0.2
Employment 1,626,300 1,623,900 1,595,000 2,400 31,300
               
U.S. unemployment rate 6.1% 6.2% 7.2% -0.1 -1.1
           

Nonfarm Employment In Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data

           
Total nonfarm employment 1,553,500 1,553,300 1,535,500 200 18,000
Mining 2,500 2,400 2,200 100 300
Construction 70,700 71,800 68,500 -1,100 2,200
Manufacturing 214,200 214,700 214,200 -500 0
Trade, transportation and utilities 313,500 313,000 311,600 500 1,900
Information 25,500 25,600 26,100 -100 -600
Financial activities 104,600 104,300 103,600 300 1,000
Professional and business services 135,800 134,600 132,600 1,200 3,200
Education and health services 226,500 227,100 223,800 -600 2,700
Leisure and hospitality 139,400 138,200 136,800 1,200 2,600
Other services 58,800 59,000 58,400 -200 400
Government 262,000 262,600 257,700 -600 4,300

Unemployment Insurance Claims For Iowa
       

% Change from

  August
 2014
July
 2014
August
 2013
July
 2014
August
 2013
Initial claims 11,445 12,890 11,996 -11.2% -4.6%
Continued claims          
     Number of claimants 23,053 24,679 24,912 -6.6% -7.5%
     Weeks paid 69,983 87,626 77,420 -20.1% -9.6%
     Amount paid $22,718,682 $27,798,914 $24,014,501 -18.3% -5.4%

Visit www.iowaworkforce.org/lmi/laborforce/locallaborforce.html for county unemployment rates,
www.iowaworkforce.org/lmi/laborforce/index.html for current and historical labor force data and
www.iowaworkforce.org/lmi/empstat/msanonag.htm for detailed information on nonfarm employment.

Visit www.iowaworkforce.org/lmi/empstat/nonfarm.pdf for information on hours and earnings and
www.iowaworkforce.org/lmi/uistats/index.html to obtain a breakout of jobless benefits by county.

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