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For Release: 9:00 a.m., June 19, 2015
Contact: Ed Wallace: (515) 281-5082

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Iowa Unemployment Rate Remains at 3.8 percent

DES MOINES, IOWA - Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent in May, but was down from the May 2014 rate of 4.4 percent.  Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 5.5 percent in May from 5.4 percent in April.

    "Iowa's businesses continued to add employees in May," said Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development.  "This month's increase was fueled by hiring in manufacturing, education, and financial activities and offsets the slight decline in employment last month."

The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 64,700 in May from 65,600 in April. The current estimate is 9,500 lower than the year ago level of 74,200.

The total number of working Iowans decreased to 1,645,800 in May. This figure was 2,000 lower than April, and 19,200 higher than one year ago.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

   Following a loss last month, total nonfarm farm employment in Iowa rebounded in May by adding 2,200 jobs. Gains this month were sparked by hiring in private services and goods-producing sectors. Government shed 800 jobs this month due to larger-than-expected seasonal losses primarily in state government but remains up 2,900 jobs since last year. This month’s increase pushes statewide nonfarm employment back up to 21,400 jobs versus one year ago (+1.4 percent).

   Manufacturing advanced this month following two consecutive months of losses.  Jobs were added in durable goods (+1,000) along with nondurable goods factories (+700).  The education and health services sector was bolstered by an increase in private education and added 1,300 jobs this month.  Health services experienced a slight decline this month (-200), the first drop since September.  Financial services added 900 jobs this month following declines in March and April, and professional and business services advanced by 700.  Other gains included leisure and hospitality (+400) and mining (+100).  Conversely, losses this month were heaviest in construction (-1,400).  This was the first loss for this super sector since January.  Despite the drop, construction has been trending up and reached an all-time high last month.  All other losses were small in May and included other services (-300), trade and transportation (-300) and information (-100).

   Since May of 2014, nonfarm employment growth has been led by private services, although goods-producing sectors continue to be elevated by hiring in construction.  The gain of 4,400 jobs in construction is the most of any sector in Iowa and more than offsets the loss of 1,300 jobs in manufacturing.  Trade and transportation has also fared well annually (+4,200), so has leisure and hospitality (+4,000).  Aside from manufacturing, the only other super sectors to pare jobs versus last year are information (-1,100) and mining (-100).  

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 June 2015 will be released on July 21, 2015.

 

Employment and Unemployment In Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data

       

Change from

  May
 2015
April
2015
May
 2014
April
 2015
May
 2014
Civilian labor force 1,710,500 1,713,400 1,700,700 -2,900 9,800
Unemployment 64,700 65,600 74,200 -900 -9,500
Unemployment rate 3.8% 3.8% 4.4% 0.0 -0.6
Employment 1,645,800 1,647,800 1,626,600 -2,000 19,200
               
U.S. unemployment rate 5.5% 5.4% 6.3% 0.1 -0.8
           

Nonfarm Employment In Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data

           
Total nonfarm employment 1,568,200 1,566,000 1,546,800 2,200 21,400
Mining 2,200 2,100 2,300 100 -100
Construction 78,400 79,800 74,000 -1,400 4,400
Manufacturing 216,200 214,500 217,500 1,700 -1,300
Trade, transportation and utilities 316,200 316,500 312,000 -300 4,200
Information 24,600 24,700 25,700 -100 -1,100
Financial activities 104,600 103,700 103,900 900 700
Professional and business services 138,800 138,100 137,000 700 1,800
Education and health services 227,400 226,100 223,500 1,300 3,900
Leisure and hospitality 141,600 141,200 137,600 400 4,000
Other services 61,200 61,500 59,200 -300 2,000
Government 257,000 257,800 254,100 -800 2,900

Unemployment Insurance Claims For Iowa

% Change from

  May
 2015
April
 2015
May
 2014
April
 2015
May
 2014
Initial claims 10,748 9,683 10,764 11.0% -0.4%
Continued claims          
     Number of claimants 22,214 31,464 23,190 -29.4% -4.2%
     Weeks paid 68,430 102,012 71,687 -32.9% -4.5%
     Amount paid $23,605,753 $35,430,672 $23,352,930 -33.4% 1.1%
           

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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