Teresa Taylor-Wolf, bureau chief at Iowa Workforce Development, says the seasonally-adjusted jobless rate fell to three-point-4 percent in September, down from August’s three-point-six. She says the rate was four-point-five percent a year ago.
The total number of working Iowans right now is a new record, one-million-644-thousand, and nonfarm employment’s also a record at one-point-five-million. Manufacturing employment is at the highest level it’s been since October 2001, she says, and constructions jobs are also at a record level, as are education and health. The U.S. unemployment rate dipped as well, though it remained well above Iowa’s, at four-point-six-percent.
Last year was the first in a long time that Iowa’s jobless rate even approached the national rate, and while there may be some guesses about why, she says generally there’s a “pretty good gap.” Unemployment benefit payments totaled 18-point-six-million dollars, up from a year ago but down from August, though that was mostly because the calendar month was short one a”processing Wednesday” for the Workforce agency.