The number of people who found and lost jobs balanced each other out according to the latest unemployment report from Iowa Workforce Development. Labor market analyst Ann Wagner says the February unemployment rate matched January’s.She says it stayed at four-point-one percent, and that rate compared with four-point-three percent one year ago. She says 67-thousand people were unemployed in February. She says there were some weak areas last month. After a surge in January, non-farm employment was down. She says the weakest area was trade and transportation, including wholesale and retail trade, and transportation. Wagner says the trade and transportation section continues a weak trend. She says the area, along with constructions that has been weak for the last three years. She says there’s not one thing to pin it on, but there have been a lot of closings and it’s been very soft since the recession started in early 2001. Wagner says the information, finance and professional services areas saw some increases last month. She expects the construction industry to pick up in the coming weeks. She says this is just a temporary situation for construction as she says it should be strong in the months ahead — and in fact there are even some worker shortages in that area. Iowa continues to do better than the nation on the job front as the U.S. unemployment rate remained at five-point-six percent in February.
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