The state’s unemployment report has more bad news this month — labor analyst Ann Wagner in the Iowa Workforce Development office says the jobless rate increased in May to four-point-five percent from a revised four-point-one percent in April. The four-point-five percent in May represents 73,200 jobless people, and Wagner says the last time we saw that high a level was in October of 1992. Wagner says now and then there are encouraging signs, and we’re past the worst point for sheer volume of people laid off in Iowa. But because job growth was so slow, people have had a hard time finding jobs, and those laid off are taking longer to find new ones. It’s a tough time for new workers trying to enter the job market, like recent high school and college graduates. However, at the national level there are some recent encouraging signs and the analyst still hopes for a turnaround later this year, and strong job growth in 2004.
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