For the third consecutive month, Iowa’s unemployment rate has increased. Nearly 73,000 Iowans were unemployed in August. Officials calculate 4.2 percent of the Iowa workforce was out of work last month.
Iowa’s August jobless rate was a tenth-of-a-percent higher than it was in July.
“One thing to note that businesses are typically apprehensive during election years and this year is no different, as many businesses are taking longer to fill open positions,” says Courtney Greene, a spokeswoman for Iowa Workforce Development.
About 600 Iowans who work in professional and business services were laid off in August.
“Despite a sizable gain last month, this sector has lost jobs in three of the last four months,” Greene says. “Other losses were small declines in education, health services and information. Manufacturing continued to decline due to durable goods (related) layoffs and this stagnation may be carrying over into professional and business services.”
There were 5000 fewer manufacturing jobs in Iowa this August compared to August of 2015. Construction, meanwhile, is a booming sector. Last month, 91,500 people were working on construction sites in Iowa. That’s 14,000 more than in August of last year.
” As we head into the winter months, we’re keeping an eye on weather,” Greene says. “Last year we had a mild winter and there wasn’t a huge drop-off in construction.”
There has been a slight increase in the number of working Iowans, up 1700 from July and 3600 higher than a year ago. More than 1,642,000 Iowans were in the workforce in August.
Iowa’s unemployment rate remains below the national rate. However, Iowa’s unemployment rate is now eight-tenths of a percent higher than it was a year ago.