Iowa’s unemployment rate for June stood at 6.8%, unchanged from May. The state’s unemployment rate in June 2009 was 6%. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson Kerry Koonce says the state lost 4,500 jobs between May and June. It marks the first time this year that the state failed to add jobs.

Koonce says the loss of nearly 2,000 temporary Census workers was a major factor. The total number of Iowans working in June was 1,567,100. The state’s pool of unemployed workers stood at 113,600 in June. That compares to 99,500 in June 2009. The trade and transportation sector posted the largest loss, down 4,200 jobs between May and June.

Koonce says that includes an unexpected loss of 2,400 jobs in retail trade. “Usually you do see some pickup in retail this time of the year with getting ready for back to school and those kinds of things,” Koonce said. “We haven’t seen that yet which just shows consumers are not out there spending huge sums of money…so retail hasn’t ramped up.”

The construction industry lost 1,900 jobs from May to June and 2,700 jobs over the year. A few sectors of the Iowa economy added jobs in June – including professional and business services and manufacturing. “One of the things that’s positive is we’re still seeing growth in manufacturing, which is very good because that’s a lot of the jobs we lost during the recession,” Koonce said.

The U.S. unemployment rate for June was 9.5%, down from 9.7% in May. The June report in Iowa shows Lee County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.1% while Lyon County recorded the lowest rate at 4.1%.

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