More jobs were added across Iowa in January, but the state’s unemployment rate held steady. A new report released this morning by Iowa Workforce Development noted the December 2012 unemployment rate was revised from 4.9 percent up to 5-percent.
Kerry Koonce is a spokesperson for the agency. “That’s where we are for January as well, 5.0 percent, which is down significantly from this time last year – 5.4 percent,” Koonce said. “And we’re well below the national rate of 7.9 percent.”
The number of unemployed Iowans climbed to 82,100 in January — up from 81,700 in December. But, the state added 3,700 jobs in the first month of the year. “We added 2,600 jobs in manufacturing,” Koonce said. “The trade, transportation and utilities field added 500 and we added 3,100 jobs in professional and business services.”
January marks the fourth consecutive month for job gains in manufacturing. The biggest job losses in January came in the education and health services sector and the leisure and hospitality industry — with each shedding 1,300 jobs.
Koonce said the losses stemmed primarily from lower than expected hiring in private education services and a decrease in spending for recreation and dining services.
Iowa’s average unemployment rate for all of 2012 was 5.2 percent. That compares to 5.9 percent in 2011. Manufacturing led the year-over-year job growth, adding 7,300 jobs in 2012.