Iowa’s unemployment rate was three-point-four percent in April, up slightly to 3.2 percent. Labor analyst Ann Wagner of Iowa Workforce Development says a dip in construction jobs helped push the rate up. Wagner says construction has been doing very well, hitting peak employment last year, but in April there was a sudden drop of 2,000 jobs.
Wagner says they’re not sure if the drop is one-month anomaly or if it’s linked to the slowdown in housing. Wagner says it’ll take another month to see if the drop in construction jobs is a trend. She says the release of the May data should show if there’s a downturn in construction or if some major projects had ended. Wagner says they’ll monitor the issue as the drop "is unusual."
Wagner says there are still a lot of areas looking to hire workers. Wagner says professional and business service jobs were up 800 in April, education and health was up 700, government jobs were up 600 and trade and transportation was up 500. Wagner says the job picture remains strong.
Wagner says the state gained over 18,000 non-farm jobs in the last year and there are 7,600 more people with jobs. The unemployment rate last April was 3.8 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate edged up to 4.5 percent in April, compared to 4.4 percent in March.