This is the time of year when some students have graduated and are looking to start their careers, while others are looking for a summer job before returning to the teachers and books in the fall. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson, Kerry Koonce, says high school and college students out of classes for the summer will start showing up in the workforce numbers. “Keep in mind, some of them are already in the labor force, ’cause they are working part-time jobs and those kinds of things,” Koonce says. “You have students that are in school in Iowa that are maybe going to go home to another state. And then you also have students from Iowa who are going to college out of state and coming back. So, you have kind of an evening out of that factor.”
Koonce says college students with diplomas in hand looking for jobs are part of the annual summer labor transition. “What will probably happen in May and June as we usually see, is the size of the labor force will increase because of those individuals coming into the labor force. We may see a slight increase in the number of unemployed as well, as those students coming out don’t find a job right away. But, that usually levels out pretty quickly,” Koonce says.
The high school and college students who get a temporary summer job as a lifeguard or something else before going back to school are accounted for when you hear Koonce talk about seasonally-adjusted job numbers. “There’s a formula that factors out based on the last several year’s data, and factors out that seasonalness in the sense of what the expected growth is or decrease in an area, and that’s looked at as well,” Koonce explains.
Koonce says students are one of a variety of factors that impact employment numbers heading into the summer, including a ramp up in construction projects as the weather starts getting warmer.