Iowa’s unemployment rate held in December, the third straight month the jobless figure stood at two-and-a-half percent. Iowa Workforce Development analyst Sha Khan says this three-month trend follows a three-month record low unemployment level of two-point-one percent.Khan thought the unemployment rate was on a slow trend upward, but it now appears the rate is leveling off. Khan says Iowa workers who’ve been laid off are apparently finding new jobs before their severance packages end and they go on unemployment.With the December unemployment estimate in, Khan says 2000 appears to be a landmark year in Iowa.The preliminary annual average unemployment for 2000 was a record low two-point-three percent. Although the yearly figure is an estimate, Khan says previous year’s estimates have been pretty close.The national unemployment rate for December was four percent.