Iowa’s unemployment rate went up slightly in October, according to Kerry Koonce of Iowa Workforce Development. Koonce says it did raise a tenth of a percent in October to 6.7% compared to the adjusted rate for September. She says that’s still better than the 10.2% national unemployment rate.
The September rate was originally reported at 6.7%, and then revised down to 6.6%. Koonce says the small increase in unemployment came despite the addition of jobs in some areas. She says the state added 2,000 jobs in the education and health services areas — 1,300 were in health services. There were 900 new jobs in professional and business services, a large portion of those in temporary hiring, and 700 in financial services.
Koonce says job loses offset the gains with the biggest decreases in October were in the trades and transportation areas, with the biggest hit in the retail trade area, which lost about 3,000 jobs. Koonce says Iowa’s unemployment level likely hasn’t leveled off just yet.
Koonce says Iowa tends to see higher unemployment in November, December, January and February anyway because of our economy, with construction, manufacturing and agriculture laying off this time of year. “So we probably haven’t hit the top yet,” Koonce says. The statewide estimate of unemployed workers increased to 112,700 in October from 112,300 in September.
The October rate is up significantly from last year at this time when it sat at 4.3%.