The state’s unemployment rate didn’t budge in February despite some increase in jobs. Labor analyst Ann Wagner says the February rate was the same as January at five-point-one percent. She says that rate represents 83-thousand-300 unemployed — up one thousand from last month. Wagner, who’s with the Iowa Workforce Development office, says some industries saw an increase in jobs. She says professional and business services saw the biggest growth, then manufacturing. Wagner says the state lost 500 government jobs and one-thousand in education and health services. Overall she says the new jobs aren’t yet outpacing the losses. She says we’ve recaptured some manufacturing jobs as non-farm jobs are up 19-thousand-200 over the year, but she says there still needs to be faster monthly job growth to bring the unemployment rate down. Wagner says the unemployment rate is a little higher than last year at this time, but the employment picture is better. She says the job market is much improved over a where we were a year ago, but she says that brings in more job seekers once they hear businesses are hiring. Wagner says Iowa’s unemployment rate remains below the national rate, which increased to five-point-four percent in February.
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