The state’s unemployment rate inched down in June. Ann Wagner, a state labor market analyst, says it looks like the state’s economy is showing “steady” improvement. “What we’ve been seeing in recent months is generally more hiring among Iowa’s employers, a turn-around in the manufacturing industry and so that’s what’s accounted for less unemployment this month,” Wagner says. The June jobless rate was four-point-six percent. The state unemployment rate in May was four-point-eight percent. Wagner says the best job-growth indicator is total “non-farm” employment — the number of off-the-farm jobs in Iowa, regardless of whether they’re held by someone who lives here or in another state. There were 57-hundred more people working in “non-farm” jobs in June compared to May. “The strongest industry growth was in manufacturing,” Wagner says. Wagner says Iowa’s economy “is improving.” After three years of “very slow job growth,” Wagner says there’s finally a turn-around in the hiring picture. A report from the Iowa Workforce Development agency shows there were over one-and-a-half million people on the job in Iowa last month. The agency estimates nearly 76-thousand Iowans were unemployed in June. The U.S. unemployment rate in June was five percent — it’s lowest level since September, 2001, the month of the terrorist attacks in this country.
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