Iowa’s unemployment rate hit its highest level since February of 2005, climbing to 4.6% last month. That’s according to figures released today by Iowa Workforce Development. The state’s jobless rate rose from 4.3% in July. I.W.D. spokesperson Kerry Koonce says Iowa still added 400 jobs between July and August.
"The national economy has lost jobs for the last eight months straight, while Iowa has actually added jobs for the last two months," Koonce said. Iowa’s unemployment rate remains much lower than the national level of 6.1 percent. Koonce says Iowa’s economy is holding up much better than other states in some key sectors.
"Even though the national economy is going through some rough spots in the financial industry area, Iowa still added jobs in financial industries," Koonce said. Over the last year, the education and health services sector added the most jobs in Iowa at 3,900. The largest losses from one year ago occurred in manufacturing, with a decrease of 2,000 jobs.
Koonce says the manufacturing job losses are tied primarily to the Maytag shutdown in Newton and the cutbacks at Winnebago Industries in Forest City. She notes that the state is slowly adding manufacturing jobs in the area of wind energy production. The total number of working Iowans hit 1,605,600 in August. The total number of unemployed Iowa residents rose from 72,300 in July to 76,800 in August.