Iowa’s jobless rate stopped its slow upward climb in January, for the first time in a year. The rate went down to 3.3 percent, from December’s 3.7, and some industries improved even though there were one thousand fewer manufacturing jobs. Labor-market analyst Ann Wagner says if you’re going to ride out a recession, it looks like Iowa’s the best place to do it.Iowa tied South Dakota and Connecticut for the third-lowest jobless rate in the nation, an average for the year 2001 of just three-point-three percent. Despite the troubles for manufacturers, Wagner says many other industries have shown some gains. Normally construction “takes a hit” during recession, but it’s remained strong. Federal reserve board chair Alan Greenspan said this week that the recession may be over.Wagner says nationally that may be true, but as always it’ll take a while for the signs of recovery to appear in Iowa. Job growth in the state came in retail sales, finance, insurance and real estate in January.
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