The June unemployment rate for Iowa was four-point-three percent, nearly identical to the unemployment rate this time a year ago. Ann Wagner is a state labor market analyst for the Iowa Workforce Development agency. Wagner says a lot of new graduates have been unable to find work, and that drove the rate up in May. June’s jobless figure was nearly identical to May’s. Wagner says there are just over 70-thousand unemployed Iowans. Last year at this time, there were about three-thousand more Iowans unemployed.While Wagner describes the job market as steady, a liberal think-tank accuses her agency of masking a big trend. The Iowa Public Policy Institute research director says state officials are masking huge job losses. State officials say over one-and-a-half million Iowans had jobs in June, but Peter Fischer of the Iowa Public Policy Institute says they’re not telling the real story of job lossesFischer says every month the Workforce Development agency emphasizes the statistics that make the job market look the best. Fischer says the “startling thing” is that in May, job losses were larger than they’ve been since the beginning of the recession in October of 2001. Fischer says the real data shows a “very sputtering economic recovery” in Iowa. Wagner defends her agency’s reporting of unemployment data. Wagner says her agency has tracked job losses, particularly in the manufacturing sector. Wagner says she and other officials aren’t disguising anything.
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