Iowa’s jobless news isn’t really good or bad, according to the state labor department.Ann Wagner at Iowa Workforce Development says Iowa’s unemployment rate held steady in December at 3.9 percent, up just a bit from a year ago. Wagner says the state escaped the worst of the national recession the last year and a half. Wagner says employment conditions are “flat,” without the amount of hiring going on that could help bring about a full recovery. Though the jobless rate remains unchanged, the analyst sees some bright spots in Iowa’s economy. Wagner says we have a strong finance industry and up till recently construction kept growing though it’s taken a downturn the last few weeks. Wagner says you can even blame the recent colder weather for the employment situation since up till recently construction jobs continued with temps mild enough for outdoor work. In general the service industry is down the past month and past year, but there’s an upturn in the hiring of temporary workers, an indication the economy may start to do a little better. Wagner says when managers start to hire temps, it signals a rise in orders or other factors that make them think business is going to pick up.
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