Iowa’s unemployment rate inched up slightly in August to 6.1% compared to 6% in July. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson, Kerry Koonce, says after making gains in job creation, the state took a step back. She says we saw an overall jobs loss of about 2,300 jobs in non-farm employment in the month, mostly in private industry.
Koonce says the changes in the unemployment picture continue to be small. Koonce says the unemployment level has really held around 6 to 6.1% all year and this is only the second month were the state lost jobs. Koonce says one area saw some good growth.
“One thing that was very good for this month…the education and health services field added a significant number of jobs,” Koonce said. She says health services added 1,400 new jobs, making it a record level of jobs in health services for Iowa.
Koonce says Iowa’s unemployment level in August still well below the national unemployment rate of 9.1%. She says we are fortunate to not see a lot of mass layoffs or a lot of new individuals filing unemployment claims. “But it really is that chicken and egg kind of thing, consumer confidence still needs to come up more before businesses feel they can create more products, in essence hiring more individuals to meet that demand,” Koonce says.
The August rate was improved slightly over the August unemployment rate one year ago of 6.2%.