Iowa’s unemployment rate "eased" in September to 4.2%, down the from the August jobless rate of 4.5% percent. Kerry Koonce of Iowa Workforce Development says, "By and large we’re attributing it to people that were affected by the June floods have returned to work," she says. September’s unemployment rate for Iowa is still four-tenths-of-a-percent higher than last year.
"But it’s important to remember that we’re still two percent below the national unemployment rate right now," Koonce says. According to Koonce, several sectors of the state’s economy are doing quite well compared to what’s happening in other states.
"For example, construction actually had gains. Manufacturing has just stayed flat which is actually very good for everything that’s been going on in Iowa lately," Koonce says. "…Our financial activities section actually showed a small dip. This is obviously attributable to things which are going on nationally." Officials estimate about 71,000 Iowans were unemployed in September.
A cluster of counties around the Winnebago plant in northern Iowa have higher unemployment rates compared to the rest of Iowa. Jasper County — the Newton area — has an unemployment rate of seven percent which is the highest of any county in the state.
"Obviously that’s still heavily related to the Whirlpool closing that happened there. They are seeing, you know, a steady dropping in that though as they are having more growth," Koonce says. "…The areas in the state that are the best fall on the northwest side of the state. Lyon county has 2.3%." Sioux County’s unemployment rate was 2.4%.