Iowa’s unemployment rate inched up slightly in July, though labor market analyst Ann Wagner says it remains under the national rate of four and a half percent.The rate was 3.1 percent, it was up from June’s revised rate of three percent and represented 48,800 jobless out of the state workforce of a million, 589 thousand, 200. Wagner says despite the slight rise in jobless Iowans, the number of people working also rose in July.Employment increased by 13-thousand-200 to one-million-540-thousand. Several big industrial employers announced layoffs in early and mid summer, but Wagner says many of those don’t show up yet in workforce statistics reflecting the jobless. They’re counted as still employed long as they’re receiving severance pay, and others took advantage of early-retirement packages so they’re retired, not jobless. And though some heavy-industry jobs were cut, others actually grew.She says there were gains in services and retail trade jobs, in contract with manufacturing layoffs. Despite the slowdown in manufacturing, Wagner says the state is “by no means” in a recession.
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