The sluggish economy has not had a big impact on Iowa’s unemployment figures. Ann Wagner, with Iowa Workforce Development, says the state’s jobless rate in March was 3.5 percent, unchanged from February. "Our employment numbers are holding up very well. Our unemployment rate is low and the total number of working Iowans is at an all-time high of 1,615,300," Wagner said.
There are some signs that consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with the economic outlook. Iowa lost 700 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities from February to March. There was also a loss of 700 jobs in leisure and hospitality.
"Those are some of the things that consumers cut back on when money gets tight. They cut back on how much shopping they do in stores and they cut back on leisure activities too," Wagner said. The biggest growth in March was reported in the manufacturing sector with 600 new jobs.
The U.S. unemployment rate in March stood at 5.1 percent, up from 4.8 percent in February.