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

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Iowa’s Unemployment Rate at 4.6 Percent

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly to 4.6 percent in September from 4.5 percent in August. The state’s jobless rate was 4.5 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent in September compared to 6.1 percent in August.

“Iowa’s nonfarm employment reached an all-time high again in September,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Global uncertainty has started to affect new orders and employment in Iowa’s manufacturing sector. Fortunately, employment in construction, health care, and finance have been thriving and at or near record levels.”

The number of unemployed Iowans increased to 77,900 in September from 76,500 in August. The current estimate is 3,000 higher than the year ago level of 74,900.

The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,629,700 in September from 1,626,400 in August. This figure was 3,300 higher than August and 33,000 higher than one year ago.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Iowa nonfarm employment added 1,300 jobs in September and now rests at 1,556,200 jobs. Gains in goods producing sectors were more than offset by larger-than-expected losses in private services. Government expanded at the state government level this month to fuel most of the job growth statewide. This month’s increase is now the sixth-straight and leaves the state up 22,100 jobs (+1.4 percent).

Construction added the most jobs this month (+1,600) following an unexpected loss of 1,200 jobs last month. This sector has been overwhelmingly positive throughout the year and has added jobs in five of the last six months. Education and health services also advanced this month (+1,300) due primarily to the steadily increasing health care field. Financial activities added jobs for the third consecutive month and now rest at a new all-time high of 105,000 jobs. Conversely, leisure and hospitality shed the most jobs this month (-1,600) with a high concentration of losses reflected in accommodations and food services (-1,300). Trade and transportation pared jobs this month (-1,000) due to losses in Iowa’s wavering retail sector. Professional and business services shed 700 jobs this month, losses being split between administrative and support services (-500) and professional, scientific, and technical services (-300). Although the decline was small this month (-100), manufacturing has now lost jobs in four straight months and has gained employment only once in 2014.

Nonfarm employment in Iowa has steadily trended upward and is led by growth in education and health services (+4,600). Construction has fared well throughout the year and is up 3,700 jobs. This sector has had the highest growth rate by percentage compared to one year ago (+5.4 percent). Other annual gains included professional and business services (+2,100) and leisure and hospitality (+1,600). Only two sectors have shed jobs annually: information services (-600) and manufacturing (-400).

MEDIA ALERT: An audio cut of comments about Iowa’s labor market situation is available by calling (515) 281-6057. Statewide data for October 2014 will be released on November 21, and local data will be posted to the Web on November 25, 2014.

 

Employment and Unemployment In Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data

       

Change from

  September
 2014
August
2014
September
 2013
August
 2014
September
 2013
Civilian labor force 1,707,500 1, 702,900 1,671,600 4,600 35,900
Unemployment 77,900 76,500 74,900 1,400 3,000
Unemployment rate 4.6% 4.5% 4.5% 0.1 0.1
Employment 1,629,700 1,626,400 1,596,700 3,300 33,000
               
U.S. unemployment rate 5.9% 6.1% 7.2% -0.2 -1.3
           

Nonfarm Employment In Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data

           
Total nonfarm employment 1,556,200 1,554,900 1,534,100 1,300 22,100
Mining 2,400 2,500 2,200 -100 200
Construction 72,200 70,600 68,500 1,600 3,700
Manufacturing 214,000 214,100 214,400 -100 -400
Trade, transportation and utilities 312,300 313,300 312,000 -1,000 300
Information 25,400 25,500 26,000 -100 -600
Financial activities 105,000 104,600 103,900 400 1,100
Professional and business services 134,600 135,300 132,500 -700 2,100
Education and health services 228,100 226,800 223,500 1,300 4,600
Leisure and hospitality 138,200 139,800 136,600 -1,600 1,600
Other services 58,900 58,800 58,300 100 600
Government 265,100 263,600 256,200 1,500 8,900

Unemployment Insurance Claims For Iowa
       

% Change from

  September
 2014
August
 2014
September
 2013
August
 2014
September
 2013
Initial claims 8,590 11,445 8,763 -24.9% -2.0%
Continued claims          
     Number of claimants 19,739 23,053 22,015 -14.4% -10.3%
     Weeks paid 62,637 69,983 69,004 -10.5% -9.2%
     Amount paid $20,853,477 $22,718,682 $22,008,803 -8.2% -5.2%

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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