Iowa’s unemployment rate remained at 6.8% in September, unchanged for the third straight month. Kerry Koonce with Iowa Workforce Development says Iowa lost 4,800 jobs last month.

Most of the job losses – 2,800 – were in government, which includes local schools. Koonce says the country is moving out of the recession, but there’s a “lag” in hiring.

“Businesses want to see consumer confidence and spending up…before they start adding a lot of jobs,” Koonce said. “We don’t expect to see really significant upturns in large scale hiring until well into 2011.” A few sectors of Iowa’s economy added jobs between August and September.

Manufacturing added 600 jobs, while Education and Health Services and Leisure and Hospitality each added 300 jobs. Around 113,300 Iowans were unemployed in September – an increase of 6,900 from a year ago. Iowa’s unemployment rate in September was the 8th lowest in the nation.

The national unemployment rate in September was 9.6%, unchanged from August.