Iowa’s jobless rate climbed to a 22-year high in the month of May. Kerry Koonce, a spokesperson for Iowa Workforce Development, says Iowa’s umployment rate rose to 5.8% in May, up from 5.1% in April and 4% one year ago.
The U.S. jobless rate hit 9.4% in May, up from 8.9% in April. Iowa’s increase is blamed in part on recent college graduates. "(In) May, you have a lot of college grads that are entering the workforce and if they haven’t found a job, then they become counted among the unemployed," Koonce said.
The number of Iowans without a job climbed to an estimated 96,900. Koonce says Iowa lost 3,400 jobs between April and May. She doesn’t expected the state’s jobless numbers to improve anytime too soon.
"Even when the recession comes to an end and we start to see the economy rebound, it’ll take a few more months for jobs to really start to rebound," Koonce said. The total number of working Iowans dropped to 1,583,100 in May from 1,589,900 in April. Total employment was 25,400 higher in May 2008 at 1,608,500.