DES MOINES – The number of unemployed people in Iowa fell in October, lowering the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 3.9%, according to a report released Friday by Iowa Workforce Development.
Level last month compared to 4 percent in September and 4.2 percent a year ago. The US unemployment rate fell to 4.6%.
While the number of unemployed in Iowa fell to 64,700 in October – from 66,200 in September – the number of workers in Iowa also rose to 1,596,200. This was an increase of 1 000 from September and 34,800 more than a year ago, keeping the state’s labor force participation rate stable at 66.8% last month.
“In October, Iowa saw net job growth for the fifth time in the past six months,” said Beth Townsend, director of IWD.
“Our main challenge remains to help increase the number of candidates that employers receive for each opening and to bring back to the labor market those who left the labor market during the pandemic,” she added. “We hope our new re-employment case management system will help solve both of these issues and significantly reduce jobless time. “
According to IWD data, Iowa businesses created 1,000 jobs in October, bringing total non-farm jobs to 1,539,900 jobs. The increase marked the second consecutive gain after a decline in August and the fifth increase in employment in the past six months, the agency reported.
A total of 22,300 jobs have been created since April, according to IWD figures. Private industries increased by 2,000 jobs and were fueled by trade. Conversely, the government cut 1,000 jobs mainly due to cuts to local government, but remained up 2,500 jobs from last October.
Overall, Iowa businesses have created 27,200 jobs above the level set a year ago, a gain of 1.8%, the state agency reported.
Retailing gained jobs for the fifth consecutive month in October with an addition of 1,500 jobs – led by increases at food stores and general merchandise retailers. Together, the “super-sector” of commerce, transportation and utilities increased by 2,000 jobs from September, according to the October IWD report.
Education and health care services gained 700 jobs, fueled mainly by an increase in hires in health care and social assistance, which have now added jobs in four consecutive months, and manufacturing gained 400 jobs through the hiring of durable goods factories. Weaker gains in October included information (up 300) and other services (up 100).
Meanwhile, job losses have occurred in construction (down 500), which has now lost jobs in three straight months and six of the past seven months. Professional and business services fell by 500 jobs, with the largest losses in professional, scientific and technical services, as well as administrative support and waste management services. Finally, the leisure and hospitality industry lost 500 jobs as businesses prepare for fewer activities as winter approaches.