Iowa was one of only 16 states in the country to record a decline in it’s unemployment rate in January. That’s according to new figures released today by the U.S. Labor Department.
Ann Wagner, with Iowa Workforce Development, says Iowa’s jobless rate dropped to 3.6 percent. She says that represents about 60,900 Iowans that were unemployed in January.
The unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 from 3.8% in December. Overall, Iowa added 1,900 jobs in the first month of the year, with most of those in retail trade. Wagner says, despite the national slowdown in the mortgage business, Iowa added 400 financial services jobs. Another 1,600 jobs were added in government, while professional and business services accounted for 800 new jobs.
The troubles in the housing market, however, did have an impact on the construction sector. Wagner says, "Construction was down 1,000 (jobs) over the month and down 1,400 over the year." The county with the highest unemployment rate in Iowa for the month of January was Jasper County. That distinction is tied to the Maytag closing in Newton.
Wagner says Johnson and Carroll Counties tied for the lowest jobless rate in the state at 2.9 percent. According to the report, Iowa has added 8,500 jobs in the last 12 months.