State job numbers show the unemployment for December stayed the same as November at 3.4 percent. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson, Courtney Greene, says good weather played a part in the labor situation.
“Due to the mild winter, construction again added about 2,400 jobs and ended the year up 10,000 jobs. This is the highest gain numerically and by percentage — up 12.9 percent for all sectors for the year,” Greene says. The jobs reports says the number of construction jobs in 2016 could drop as a number of big projects come to an end.
Overall, the state averaged 2,100 new jobs each month in 2015. The job gains offset the job loses in the month. “Trade and transportation were down, hampered by a disappointing retail shopping season — losing 2,500 jobs in December,” according to Greene. “Professional and business services and government also saw declines — with loses fueled by administrative support, waste management occupations and early releases of local government workers.”
Overall, fewer Iowans are getting unemployment. “The number of unemployed Iowans fell to 58,300, down 500 from November. The current estimate is 15,300 lower than the year ago level of 73,600,” Greene says. Workforce Development says the state has gained 25,600 jobs compared to last year, which allowed the number of unemployed to steadily drop from January of last year when it was at 4.2 percent.