The unemployment rate in Iowa is creeping up. The July unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, up a tenth of a percent higher than the previous month. Ann Wagner of the Iowa Workforce Development agency says 71,400 Iowans are currently unemployed. That’s about 1,100 more than in June. But last year at this time, 75,600 Iowans were getting unemployment benefits. Wagner says the July, 2003 unemployment rate for Iowa was 4.7 percent — the highest jobless figure in Iowa since the end of the 2001 recession. Wagner says despite the increase from June to July this year, the Iowa job market is “relatively stable.” Wagner says the number of people filing claims for unemployment insurance increased “slightly” in July. She says there are traditionally a number of “inventory shut-downs” at Iowa factories in July, and that’s a factor. In addition, she says the rate’s going up “just a bit” because the improving labor market has brought folks back into the market who hadn’t been working.
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