Iowa’s unemployment rate increased in October to three-point-six percent. Ann Wagner, a labor market analyst for the State of Iowa, says that’s a two-tenths of a percent increase from the September unemployment rate. A year ago, the state’s jobless figure stood much higher, at four-and-a-half percent in October of 2005. Wagner says the hiring rate slowed in October of this year in Iowa.
There were nearly four-thousand fewer non-farm jobs in Iowa in October compared to September, according to Wagner. “The biggest decrease occurred in the leisure and hospitality industries,” Wagner says. “Those industries lost 1700 workers over the month.” Six-hundred workers in Iowa manufacturing plants lost their jobs in October. Another six-hundred people who were employed in Iowa’s education sector lost their jobs in October, according to the state report.
“There were only some small gains. Construction was up 100. Trade and transportation — and that includes wholesale and retail trade as well as transportation — had increased 100 and other services was up 200,” Wagner says. “It was a real slow month for hiring.”
Wagner admits that slow-down was unexpected. Wagner predicts a turn-around this month in terms of hiring. The state’s unemployment figures are “seasonally adjusted” which means the calculation for November won’t jump dramatically due to retailers’ holiday hiring, according to Wagner, who says that the goal is to present a “true economic trend” when the unemployment rate is released.