A report released today shows the state’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.1% in August to 6% in September. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson Kerry Koonce says while the jobless rate hasn’t changed much in the last year, the state has added thousands of jobs.
“We’re up about 18,000 jobs compared to this time last year,” Koonce said. The U.S. employment rate stood at 9.1% in September. The manufacturing sector in Iowa has added 4,800 jobs over the past year.
“Unfortunately, that’s where we lost the majority of our jobs during the recession. So it’s good to see (manufacturing) coming back strong,” Koonce said. Compared to a year earlier, leisure and hospitality added 6,400 jobs while trade and transportation added 6,500 jobs.
Most of the gains in September were in retail trade, adding 1,200 jobs in one month. “That’s positive because it looks like a lot of retailers are starting to gear up already for holiday hiring, which is something that has not happened this early in the last couple years. Hopefully that’s a positive sign for everyone,” Koonce said.
Health services added 200 more jobs in September and has grown by 4,300 jobs over the year. Koonce said the financial services industry added 300 jobs in September, but that sector is down 2,200 jobs compared to a year ago. The report shows 100,400 Iowans were unemployed in September – 3,000 fewer than a year ago.