The jobless picture in Iowa continued to improve in March. Labor analyst Ann Wagner in the state Workforce Development Office says the national unemployment rate was 5-point-7 percent for the month past.Iowa’s considerably lower than that with a jobless figure of four-point-one percent for March, the third month in a row we’ve seen that rate. One year ago it was 4.3 percent in March, so in the past year she says we’ve seen unemployment drop, from 70,400 people to 66,100 the same month this year. Wagner says there was an increase of 74-hundred in the total number of nonfarm jobs in the state. That broke down to an increase of 300 new jobs in manufacturing, 300 in construction, 800 in seasonally trade and transportation, an area that’s been ‘soft for the past three years.” There were also jobs added in finance and professional business services, and the only two industries showing job declines were information and government. One factor of concern recently has been the high price of steel, which actually caused small layoffs in manufacturing and caused headaches for manufacturing plants as well as Iowa’s construction industry. Wagner says all the indicators point to the fact that Iowa’s arrived at economic recovery, and says more growth can be expected in nonfarm jobs ahead.
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