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For Release: 9:00 a.m., November 21, 2014
Contact: Kerry Koonce: (515) 281-9646

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Iowa Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.5 Percent

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent in October from 4.6 percent in September. The state’s jobless rate was 4.4 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent in October compared to 5.9 percent in September.

“Iowa’s job market continues to steadily pick up pace,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “The state’s labor force is currently at an all-time high of 1,711,600, and the total number of working Iowans is 34,800 higher than one year ago.”

The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 76,800 in October from 77,700 in September. The current estimate is 2,700 higher than the year ago level of 74,100.

The total number of working Iowans reached a current-year peak of 1,634,800 in October. This figure is 5,100 higher than September and 34,800 higher than one year ago.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Iowa nonfarm employment shed a slight 200 jobs in October, lowering the total number of jobs to 1,556,900. This month’s drop is the first since March, and only the third decline in 2014. The larger job losses in October occurred in leisure and hospitality and in government, where weaker-than-expected seasonal hiring was reflected in local and state government. Despite the loss this month, government remains up 5,800 jobs annually due primarily to a surge in local government education hiring.

Trade and transportation added the most jobs this month (+2,700) led by hiring in retail (+1,800) and wholesale trade (+800). October is typically the month when this super sector begins to hire seasonal workers to prepare for the holiday shopping season. The education and health services sector also experienced large gains this month (+2,600). Education in particular had a larger-than-expected seasonal increase, and has now added jobs in four consecutive months. Construction continued to gain employment (+1,600), and has now added 6,700 jobs since March. Alternatively, losses this month were led by leisure and hospitality (-3,200), and concentrated in accommodations and food services. Other monthly losses were small and included manufacturing (-600), other services (-500), and finance (-200).

Since last October, Iowa has added 15,400 jobs (+1.0 percent). Construction has prospered throughout the year, and now leads all sectors in jobs added (+4,600) and by percentage growth (+6.7 percent). The education and health services sector has also steadily trended up throughout the year (+3,700), and has experienced even growth in both private education and health care. Trade and transportation has advanced (+3,100) due to unexpected gains in wholesale trade. On the other hand, leisure and hospitality has now shed jobs annually (-3,100) due to large declines in two consecutive months. Manufacturing is also down annually (-2,800) as the result of cutbacks in both durable and nondurable goods factories. The information services sector continues to contract, and is down 600 jobs from one year ago.

MEDIA ALERT: An audio cut of comments about Iowa’s labor market situation is available by calling (515) 281-6057. The statewide data for November will be released on Friday, December 19, 2014. Local data for November will be posted to the IWD website on Tuesday, December 23, 2014.

 

Employment and Unemployment In Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data

       

Change from

  October
 2014
September
2014
October
 2013
September
 2014
October
 2013
Civilian labor force 1,711,600 1, 707,400 1,674,200 4,200 37,400
Unemployment 76,800 77,700 74,100 -900 2,700
Unemployment rate 4.5% 4.6% 4.4% -0.1 0.1
Employment 1,634,800 1,629,700 1,600,000 5,100 34,800
               
U.S. unemployment rate 5.8% 5.9% 7.2% -0.1 -1.4
           

Nonfarm Employment In Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data

           
Total nonfarm employment 1,556,900 1,557,100 1,541,500 -200 15,400
Mining 2,400 2,400 2,300 0 100
Construction 73,600 72,000 69,000 1,600 4,600
Manufacturing 213,700 214,300 216,500 -600 -2,800
Trade, transportation and utilities 314,900 312,200 311,800 2,700 3,100
Information 25,400 25,400 26,000 0 -600
Financial activities 104,400 104,600 103,900 -200 500
Professional and business services 135,100 135,200 132,200 -100 2,900
Education and health services 230,600 228,000 226,900 2,600 3,700
Leisure and hospitality 135,300 138,500 138,400 -3,200 -3,100
Other services 58,600 59,100 57,400 -500 1,200
Government 262,900 265,400 257,100 -2,500 5,800

Unemployment Insurance Claims For Iowa
       

% Change from

  October
 2014
September
 2014
October
 2013
September
 2014
October
 2013
Initial claims 12,761 8,590 12,730 48.6% 0.2%
Continued claims          
     Number of claimants 22,266 19,739 22,832 12.8% -2.5%
     Weeks paid 77,351 62,637 80,850 23.5% -4.3%
     Amount paid $26,257,302 $20,853,477 $26,120,546 25.9% 0.5%

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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