Iowa lost more jobs in the month of February. Kerry Koonce, with Iowa Workforce Development, says the state’s unemployment rate last month rose to 4.9% That’s up from 4.8% in January and 3.9% in February 2008.
The U.S. unemployment rate jumped to 8.1% last month. Koonce credits Iowa’s diverse economy for the lower jobless figures compared to many other states. Three sectors of Iowa’s economy added jobs in February.
Trade and transportation added 1,400 jobs, education/health services added 600 and construction added 400 jobs. Those gains, however, were offset by big dips elsewhere – primarily in manufacturing.
"From January to February, manufacturing lost 8,400 jobs," Koonce said. "Since February of ’08, manufacturing’s lost 20,000 jobs." Professional and business services has dropped 9,400 jobs from a year ago, while construction has trimmed 1,900 positions. There were 17,000 more unemployed Iowans in February compared to the same month one year ago.
Koonce says the agency’s report lists 82,500 unemployed Iowans – the largest number of jobless residents since July of 1987. There were 1.6 million Iowans working in February.