Iowa’s unemployment rate remained at five-point-1 percent in March. That’s the same figure for the third month in a row, according to Workforce analyst Ann Wagner. She says that 5.1-percent represented 83,400 unemployed Iowans, out of a total statewide labor force of 1,643,200. She points out while the figure may be unchanged in March, it was worse than a year earlier. One year ago the state jobless rate was 4-point-7 percent, and that translated into 76,200 unemployed people. Wagner says despite the growth in the jobless figure, March saw strong growth in some employment areas. We added 2500 nonfarm jobs over the month — some 600 in construction, and about 400 each in the categories of trade and transportation, finance, and professional and business services. Plus, she says there were about 200 new jobs in manufacturing. There were declines in government, education and health, and the “information industry” — computers and high tech. Wagner says March saw the strongest monthly job growth we’ve experienced since the month of October.
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