The tug of war between new jobs created and jobs lost in Iowa ended with a slight advantage on the negative side once again according to new state unemployment figures. Iowa Workforce Development spokeswoman, Kerry Koonce, says the overall unemployment was up slightly.

The June rate had originally been reported at 6.8%, but was revised down to 6.7%, and now the July rate is 6.8%. The unemployment rate was 6.1% one year ago, while the U.S. unemployment rate remained at 9.5%. Koonce says the employment situation is basically at a standstill.

Koonce says overall the state added 1,700 jobs in July, but the makeup of the labor force is changing. She says the labor force has decreased, with more people unemployed, but there’s also the discourage workers who have stopped looking for work, so the number of the people in the labor force has dropped.

Koonce says some areas saw new workers as the state gained 1,100 jobs in construction, which hasn’t seen a lot of gains in the past few months due to a slowdown in the housing market. Trade/transportation and utilities was up by 700 and there was a 2,500 increase in the leisure and hospitality area, due to the summer travel season. The biggest job losses came in government — which was down 1,300 jobs in July.

Koonce says the majority of that reflected the early retirement program in state government. There was also an 800-job decrease in the professional and business services area, which includes temp agencies, and 500 in financial activities area. Koonce says the state has continued to produce new jobs each month of this year, but not enough to offset the losses.

“It’s gonna be a slow recovery yet, we probably won’t see major gains through 2010, it’ll probably be into 2011 until we see any pickup,” Koonce says. Koonce says there were 113,800 Iowans looking for work in July, with the monthly estimate of unemployed up 700 from June, and up 11,600 from July 2009