The state’s unemployment rate went up in May, but there’s good news behind the increase. The unemployment rate bumped up four-tenths of a percent from April to four-point-three percent in May, but the increase wasn’t due to more Iowans losing their jobs. Iowa Workforce Development labor analyst Ann Wagner says the increase was due to college students looking to put their new diplomas to use.She says the “spike” in the labor force was due to the number of new job seekers entering the workforce. She says many of them were recent graduates. While the numbers are usually based on the number of people getting unemployment benefits, Wagner says the new job seekers are found through a statewide survey. She says they ask a series of structured questions of those in the survey to find out if they’re employed, unemployed, or simply not participating in the labor force. Wagner says the increase attributed to the college grads shouldn’t last long. She says it will subside within about a month. Wagner says the Iowa employment front is better — but could still improve.She says we’ve seen a lot of improvement, but our non-farm employment is not growing as much as the national rate. Wagner says when you take out the new graduate factor — the unemployment rate for May would probably have held right at April’s three-point-nine percent rate. The U.S. unemployment rate for May remained at five-point-six percent.
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