Iowa’s jobless rate continues to subside. Iowa Workforce Development agency analyst Ann Wagner says in January, Iowa’s unemployment rate reached the lowest point in more than three years.
The unemployment rate decreased to four-point-one percent, the lowest since October 2002. In December the rate was four and-a-half percent, and she adds the revised 2005 unemployment rate was four-point-seven. According to Wagner, Iowa saw steady improvement in job growth throughout 2005, with lots of industries continuing the recovery they’ve enjoyed from the recession of 2001.
She says there’s more consistent and stronger growth throughout the year, and that’s why the jobless rate continues to gradually come down. Nonfarm employment was “soft,” down by 56-hundred jobs in January, but Wagner says it’s expected to trend back upward as 2006 goes on.
“True, we had a milder season, ” Wagner says, but there was still a seasonally-adjusted downturn in construction of some 1100 jobs from December to January. Her agency is holding to a rosy outlook for jobs as this year goes on. Wagner says business investment is up and she says job growth is closely correlated with businesses investing, so an increase is expected. There’ll be another report before the end of this month, as Workforce releases the February unemployment report before the end of March.