The state unemployment rate edged up to 3.3% in August after sitting at 3.2% the last two months.
Iowa Workforce Development spokesman Cory Kelly says the state saw it’s fourth straight increase in non-farm employment even though the unemployment rate went up.
And he says Iowa’s labor force participation rate staid steady at 68.4%, which is ninth in the U.S.
Several areas saw increases in jobs. “The education and health services sector added the most jobs in August, 2,500 jobs and was fueled by growth in healthcare and social assistance, which is up about 1,900. This month’s gain marks the ninth-straight gain for this super sector,” Kelley says.
Some of the gains in jobs were offset by loses. “Largest losses this month are in leisure and hospitality — down 1,500, with declines nearly equal in both arts and entertainment –800 — and accommodations and food services at 700,” according to Kelly. “Financial activities posted the first sector loss since last August (-1,300). Finance and insurance industries were responsible for most of the drop, down 1,100.”
The construction industry lost 900 jobs and has seen a drop in five straight months. “Down 5,900 (for the year) which is partially due to large scale projects ending over the past 12 months,” Kelly says.
The unemployment rate one year ago in August was 3.7%. The U-S unemployment rate rose to 4.4% in August.