Iowa’s unemployment rate over the first month of this year dropped to its lowest level in nearly 16 years. Cory Kelly is spokesperson for Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), which released a report today showing Iowa’s jobless rate dropped to 3.3 percent in January — down from 3.5 percent in December and 3.8 percent a year ago.
“The last time we had a 3.3 percent unemployment rate was in August 2001,” Kelly said. The IWD report states Iowa added 9,900 jobs in January.
“We had particularly strong growth in professional/business services as well as the leisure-and-hospitality industries,” Kelly said. The professional and business services sector in Iowa added 3,000 jobs, while the leisure-and-hospitality category posted 2,800 new jobs in January. Iowa’s retail sector added 900 jobs.
“It’s worthy to note, compared to last year, Iowa’s retail sector has gained 1,600 jobs and it fared far better than expected through the holiday shopping season,” Kelly said. The lone sector to shed jobs in Iowa in January was construction, down just 100 jobs. According to the IWD report, the total number of Iowans who were unemployed in January was 56,600, down from 59,000 in December. The February unemployment report is scheduled to be released on March 24th.