State officials say the unemployment rate in Iowa for April "edged up" to three-and-a-half percent. Ann Wagner of Iowa Workforce Development says there were about 1300 more unemployed Iowans in April compared to March. Nearly 59,000 Iowans were unemployed in April.
Iowa’s unemployment rate in March was 3.4 percent, so the uptick in April’s jobless figure was just a tenth of a percent higher. Wagner says there were job losses in construction, manufacturing, leisure industries and in professional and business services in April. "And then also when you’re talking about (the) unemployed, many times they’re people just graduating from school also out looking for a job because the unemployed not only includes people who have been laid off and are collecting unemployment, it includes anybody who’s available for work and making an active search," Wagner says.
Last month over 1,616,000 people were working in Iowa. "In terms of the number of employed people and the number of people in our labor force, we are at an all-time high in Iowa," Wagner says.
There appear to be labor shortages in Iowa, according to Wagner. "However, I don’t know if unemployment will stay at this level too much longer because our job growth has been very slow over the past three months," Wagner says. "In fact it’s just been flat, so if we encounter too many more months of that then unemployment will go up."
The April, 2008 unemployment rate was two-tenths of a percent lower than it was in April of last year.