Iowa’s unemployment rate jumped to 4.4% in October, compared to 4.2 % in September. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson Kerry Koonce says, a year ago, Iowa’s unemployment rate was 3.8%.
"It seems to be on the rise due to the ongoing housing slowdown and turmoil in the financial markets," Koonce said. "We’re seeing a number of companies do short-term, temporary shutdown layoffs. They may shutdown for a week or two and then bring the individuals back."
Overall, Iowa added 3,500 more jobless residents from September to October, but still gained 5,900 more jobs from October of 2007. "Iowa has still added jobs for the year, compared to some states where they’ve had overall job losses," Koonce said. "Even though it’s not as high of growth as we’d like to see, we’re still seeing growth in jobs."
Education and health services has led the growth win a gain of 3,400 jobs over the year. Government added 2,600 jobs. Manufacturing, meanwhile, cut 2,700 jobs between October 2007 and October 2008. "The biggest ones that come to everybody’s mind is the final shutdown of Whirlpool in Newton and (layoffs) at Winnebago (in Forest City)," Koonce said.
Other cuts last month occurred at Pella Corporation in Pella and at the Whirlpool plant in Amana. The U.S. unemployment rate climbed to 6.5% in October, its highest level since 1994.