Iowa’s jobless rate saw a small uptick in the past month, according to Kerry Koonce at Iowa Workforce Development. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 4.4 percent in June to 4.5 percent in July. “We did have a slight increase in our unemployment rate for July over June by just a tenth of a percent,” Koonce says. “Although our civilian labor force grow, so did our number of unemployed individuals grew just slightly as well.”
The number of unemployed Iowans rose to almost 77,000 during July, up from about 74,000 during June. Overall, Koonce says, the total number of working Iowans fell to about 1,624,000 in July. “We really saw no change in the non-farm jobs,” Koonce says. “All of the gains that we had in the private sector were offset heavily by government areas and also in the leisure and hospitality areas. Some of the summer stuff starts to slow down.”
Education and health services added the most jobs during July, Koonce says, due to gains in both private education services and health care services. She says the state’s workforce is in better shape than it was a year ago. “July of this year, our non-farm numbers are significantly higher,” Koonce says. “We’re 16,500 jobs higher than we were at this time last year, so that’s very good. Plus, our unemployment rate this time last year was at 4.8% so we’ve lost 3/10th of a percent there as well. All in all, our numbers are looking very good compared to this time last year.”
Many seasonal jobs are vanishing as summer gives way to fall and back-to-school time, which may contribute to the jobless rate next month. “You’ll see a little bit of that, but you’ll also have teachers and colleges and universities and things like that going back as well so you’ll see an increase in the employment there,” Koonce says. “It usually tends to level out pretty good.” Iowa’s unemployment rate at 4.5 percent for July is well below the national jobless rate of 6.2 percent.