Cory Kelly with Iowa Workforce Development says the March unemployment rate fell to 3.1 percent compared to 3.2 percent in February.
“Iowa took another step toward full employment, with the unemployment rate dropping to its lowest level since 2001,” Kelly says. The unemployment rate was 3.8 percent one year ago in March. The business sector did cut 500 jobs — the first cut since November –but Kelly says gains were made in other areas.
He says construction added 1,100 jobs, although he says the number of construction jobs is about 2,000 behind this last year’s historic highs. Education and health services added 700 jobs and so far have gained jobs for four-consecutive months.
“Six of the ten private sectors have added jobs, that’s led by professional and business services, up 4,400. These gains have been fueled primarily by increased staffing in administrative support and waste management services,” Kelly says. There were some other areas that saw job losses in the month.
“Leisure and hospitality shed the most jobs this month — they are down about two-thousand — all of that drop was due to losses in arts, entertainment, and recreation. Accommodations and food services were unchanged,” Kelly says. “Most other sector declines this month were minor and included losses of 200 jobs in trade, transportation, and warehousing. This sector was hampered by larger than expected cutbacks in retail trade.”
Kelly says the bottom line is more people had jobs.”Our total number of working Iowans increased to 1,640,200 in March. This figure was 500 higher than February and 2,900 higher than one year ago,” Kelly says.
The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent in March.