The monthly jobless report from Iowa’s Workforce Development office finds things improving slightly in Iowa. Ann Wagner , a labor-market analyst, says the seasonally-adjusted rate for Iowa eased a bit, dropping to four-point-five percent from July’s four-point-six percent, four-point-two percent for August 2002, signaling 73-thousand, 800 unemployed Iowans. This month also saw a strong signal of economic recovery underway. Nonfarm employment for August was up for the month and, for the first time, over the year for the first time since November 2000. Wagner says it’ll take a couple more months of data to confirm a permanent turnaround in the state’s economy, which has been slow to show vigorous recovery from the national recession the last couple of years. The total workforce measured by the state labor department dropped by nearly 50-thousand people from the one-million, 673-thousand of August 2002.In a job market where there’s not a lot of hiring going on, some drop out — to pursue education or let a working spouse help them “wait it out.” Some may have moved out of the state but Wagner says if they were discouraged here, their job hunt won’t be any easier across state lines.Iowa’s one of the better states in the nation, as many have worse unemployment situations, so she says there are fewer “greener pastures.” Job fields with more employment this past month included teaching and health services. The employment picture was down in trade and transportation, manufacturing and construction. Workers in Iowa’s private sector earned an average 445-dollars a week, five-dollars more than in July.
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