A record number of Iowans were on the job in July according to the latest figures from the Workforce Development agency. Ann Wagner of Workforce Development says one-million-six-hundred-51 thousand Iowans were in the state’s labor force last month. “The big thing is the fact that Iowa employers are hiring and they’re hiring in just about every industry,” Wagner says. Wagner says following the recession of 2000, the job market was very tight for about 20 consecutive months. But things have “picked up” recently. Wagner says only two sectors of the state’s economy saw job losses in July. There was a decline of 26-hundred jobs in the government sector, and there were four hundred fewer jobs in the construction industry in July. Wagner says governments across the board in Iowa have been down-sizing, and that’s why there was such a drop in government work in July. In construction, Wagner says 2004 was such a “banner year,” it would have been hard to make maintain such employment levels especially when there’s been a recent uptick in interest rates. Iowa’s overall unemployment rate in July was four-point-six percent, identical to the jobless rate in June. Wagner estimates just under 76-thousand Iowans were employed in July. Officials estimate seven-and-a-half million Americans were unemployed last month, and the national unemployment rate was five percent.
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