Iowa’s unemployment rate went up again in March. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson, Kerry Koonce, says March unemployment climbed to 5.2%, up from 4.9% in February. Koonce says the state lost an additional 11,000 jobs between February and March and "that’s having a huge impact on our economy."
She says 2,900 of the lost jobs were in construction, and the losses come at a time of year when the state is normally leveling off or adding jobs in those seasonal jobs. The leisure and hospitality industry cut 1,700 jobs in March. Koonce says financial services was the only sector to add jobs.
She says the financial services industry added 400 jobs, with most of that for mortgage processors working on modifying loans. Koonce says the government sector had a zero gain and zero loss of jobs. Koonce says unemployment has not been this high since 1987.
Koonce says even if the economy does pick up — it may take awhile before the jobless number goes back down. Koonce says jobs and unemployment are what’s called a "lagging indicator" — meaning the recession may end, but it takes longer for the jobs to catch up. She says it could be into 2010 before we see a change in the jobs situation.
Unemployment for March one year ago was 3.9%. The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.5% in March.
See the entire jobs report here .