Iowa’s unemployment rate held steady at 6% in October despite an increase in jobs. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson, Kerry Koonce, says the number of unemployed dropped below 100-thousand for the first time since November of 2009. The problem is that jobs are like a Black Friday bargain — a lot of people are lined up for them — but the supply is limited.
Koonce says the rough estimate now is that for every job, there are four people who are unemployed and available for it. She says there’s also people in transition between jobs and those who have jobs, but can’t find people with the skills they need for the jobs.
Koonce says there were 2,300 jobs created last month, mostly in construction and manufacturing, and compared to this time last year, the state is up just over 13,000 jobs. Koonce says job losses were the highest in the leisure and hospitality industries.
Koonce says there was also “a hit” in government jobs, specifically at the city and county level as local governments made several million dollars in budget cuts. She says the financial services industry lost some jobs as they saw a cutback in employees hired to handle mortgage revisions.
Iowa had an unemployment rate of 6.1% at this time last year, so Koonce says holding in place is a positive. Koonce says they always expect the unemployment rate to hold steady as the recession ends, as she says “it’s a lagging indicator so it takes longer for it to change.”
The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 9% in October from 9.1% percent in September.