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

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Iowa Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.3 Percent

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent in November from 4.5 percent in October. The state’s jobless rate was 4.2 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 5.8 percent in November.

“Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percent in November,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Virtually all of Iowa’s economic indicators showed improvement this month, with Iowa’s labor force and total nonfarm employment reaching all-time highs.”

The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 73,900 in November from 76,700 in October. The current estimate is 3,200 higher than the year ago level of 70,700.

The total number of working Iowans reached a current-year peak of 1,639,800 in November. This figure is 5,000 higher than October and 37,600 higher than one year ago.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Total nonfarm employment in Iowa gained 1,800 jobs in November, lifting the total number of jobs to 1,558,700. This month’s increase follows a slight drop in October (-200). Private service industries fueled the growth and were led by leisure and hospitality and professional and business services. Government contracted this month (-500) due to a drop in local government, but remains up 5,400 jobs since last November. Annually, nonfarm employment in Iowa has steadily trended upward throughout the year and remains 15,700 higher than one year ago (+1.0 percent).

Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs this month (+2,300) with gains being attributable to increased hiring within accommodations and food services. Professional and business services also increased this month (+1,100) due to hiring in administrative support and waste management services. Financial activities have generally been growing throughout the year, and were up again this month (+500). Smaller increases included education and health care (+300) and mining (+100). Conversely, losses were heaviest in trade and transportation (-800) this month and were fueled by declines in transportation and warehousing (-400) coupled with weak seasonal hiring in retail and wholesale trade. Construction pared jobs this month (-500) following two months of strong gains. Smaller losses included manufacturing (-300) and other services (-300).

Since last November, education and health services has added the most jobs (+4,700), followed by construction (+3,600) and professional and business services (+3,000). Manufacturing employment has been sluggish during the second half of this year and is now down 3,100 jobs compared to one year ago (-1.4 percent). Other losses included leisure and hospitality (-1,200) and information services (-500).

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 December 2014 will be released on January 27, 2015.

 

Employment and Unemployment In Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data

       

Change from

  November
 2014
October
2014
November
 2013
October
 2014
November
 2013
Civilian labor force 1,713,700 1, 711,400 1,672,900 2,300 40,800
Unemployment 73,900 76,700 70,700 -2,800 3,200
Unemployment rate 4.3% 4.5% 4.2% -0.2 0.1
Employment 1,639,800 1,634,800 1,602,200 5,000 37,600
               
U.S. unemployment rate 5.8% 5.8% 7.0% 0.0 -1.2
           

Nonfarm Employment In Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data

           
Total nonfarm employment 1,558,700 1,556,900 1,543,000 1,800 15,700
Mining 2,500 2,400 2,300 100 200
Construction 73,200 73,700 69,600 -500 3,600
Manufacturing 213,100 213,400 216,200 -300 -3,100
Trade, transportation and utilities 315,100 315,900 313,100 -800 2,000
Information 25,300 25,400 25,800 -100 -500
Financial activities 104,900 104,400 103,400 500 1,500
Professional and business services 135,600 134,500 132,600 1,100 3,000
Education and health services 230,800 230,500 226,100 300 4,700
Leisure and hospitality 137,700 135,400 138,900 2,300 -1,200
Other services 58,300 58,600 58,200 -300 100
Government 262,200 262,700 256,800 -500 5,400

Unemployment Insurance Claims For Iowa
       

% Change from

  November
 2014
October
 2014
November
 2013
October
 2014
November
 2013
Initial claims 16,905 12,761 15,499 32.5% -17.7%
Continued claims          
     Number of claimants 22,176 22,266 22,099 -0.4% 0.8%
     Weeks paid 64,761 77,351 69,802 -16.3% 10.8%
     Amount paid $21,546,154 $26,257,302 $22,442,499 -17.9% 17.0%

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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