Iowa’s jobless rate fell just a fraction from April to May, according to Kerry Koonce, spokeswoman for the Iowa Workforce Development.
“For unemployment, we took a slight dip,” Koonce says. “We went down a tenth of a percent, which is good. We want to keep seeing that happen. Nationally, the unemployment rate went down as well, so that’s a good trend across the country.”
She says most of the hiring during the month was done by the federal government, due to gearing up for the U-S Census.
Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.8% in May from 6.9% in April, but was one percentage point higher than last May’s rate of 5.8%. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 9.7% in May from 9.9% in April.
Koonce says there were both ups and downs in Iowa’s numbers. She says, “We did have a few losses in areas like manufacturing and such and held consistent in other areas, and actually added 700 jobs in the business services area.”
She says it’s a clear sign the economies of the state and nation are recovering, though slowly, and the recovery is expected to be broader in scope in the months ahead.
“We’re seeing a trend,” Koonce says. “It’ll be a slow recovery for a few months yet, but as long as we keep moving upward, that’s the positive thing that we want to see.” The statewide estimate of jobless workers fell to around 115,400 in May, about a thousand lower than in April. A year ago, the number was around 96,000.
An Iowa Workforce Development report says the total number of working Iowans fell to 1,571,600 in May, a drop from 1,572,800 in April. A year ago, the total number of working Iowans was reported at 1,575,000.