Midwinter can be a down time for business in Iowa, but the state’s employment has hit a high point. Iowa Workforce Development Analyst Ann Wagner says unemployment was up just slightly in December from a month earlier to three-point-five percent. That was up from three-point-four percent in November but Wagner says it was down one full percentage point from the jobless rate of November 2005 when the unemployment stood at four-point-five percent.
That rate shows the same pattern as the total number of workers hunting for jobs during that time. A total of 59,200 people were unemployed in December, up from November’s 58,500, and one year ago the total was notably higher with 74,800 out of work. The state has set a new record for the total number of people clocking in at a fulltime job these days.
Nonfarm jobs were the highest they’ve even been for the month of December, totaling one-Million, 520-thousand, 200. For the month that total was up by 36-hundred, and over the year they increased by 24-thousand, 500. In the month of December, manufacturing was the leading industry in job growth, adding 13-hundred jobs to the state’s economy. Wagner says manufacturing has seen numerous factory closings in the state but after years of being a job-losing industry, it’s hiring once again, especially in northwestern Iowa.