Iowa Workforce Development labor analyst, Ann Wagner says new data shows the state unemployment rate continued its move upward in July. Wagner says the rate rose to 3.9% in July — compared to 3.8% in June and 3.7% one year ago. Wagner says that means 63,900 Iowans were unemployed out of a labor force of nearly one-point-seven million.
Wagner says the July increase continues a trend where the number of new job seekers is outgrowing the number of new jobs. She says this is the fourth month of slight increases, and generally this year there are more people seeking jobs than there are jobs created. Wagner says this month in particular, there was not fast growth in non-farm jobs. Wagner says they feel the state needs to create about 2,500 new jobs to keep up with the number of new people looking for employment, and this month the state lost about 1,900 jobs.
Wagner says a big part of the job losses were retail positions. She says the trade and transportation lost 2,100 jobs, with most of the lost centered in retail trade. Wagner says local government lost 1,500 jobs, mostly tied to local government, primarily tied to school payrolls. Wagner says this upward trend in unemployment follows Workforce Development predictions.
Wagner says there was fast growth in the first quarter, and they predicted that things going on nationally, such as the slow down in home building, would lead to a slower second part of the year. Iowa still remains well below the U.S. unemployment rate, which was 4.6% in July.