Iowa’s unemployment rate remained at 3.9 percent in October according to Iowa Workforce Development. Spokesperson Ann Wagner says the jobless rate has remained the same for four consecutive months. Only two sectors of the economy added jobs in October.
Wagner says professional and business services added 1,000 jobs last month, while financial services grew by 400. Overall, a record 1.6 million Iowans held jobs in October. The estimated number unemployed persons stood at 65,500. One of the biggest shifts came in nonfarm employment.
Wagner says there was a decline of 900 nonfarm jobs in October, after a gain of 3,900 in September. "I think there’s an overall sense in the economy right now, both statewide and nationally," Wagner explains, "there’s so much uncertainty. It all stems from the slowdown in the housing market and the tightening of credits. Although the Iowa economy is still strong, it’s really struggling against several forces." The U.S. unemployment rate in October was 4.7 percent.
Most counties in Iowa are well below the national average. Wagner says Appanoose and Montgomery Counties had the highest unemployment rates in Iowa last month, at 5.7 percent. Sioux County had the lowest rate at 2.2 percent.