The state unemployment rate hit a level in November not seen in almost two decades.
“For the first time in 17 years Iowa’s unemployment rate has dropped below 3 percent, decreasing to 2.9% for November,” according to Iowa Workforce Development spokesman Cory Kelly. The state unemployment rate has not been below 3% since December of 2000. The rate was 3.5% one year ago.
It is the third straight month the unemployment rate has dropped after moving up to 3.2% in August. The state is hanging around what’s known as full employment.
Kelly says, “Here in the state of Iowa our analysts suggest about three percent is full employment — so we are at and under that mark right now.” He says on a global basis economists suggest that 3.5% is full employment. The Workforce Development report shows businesses added 6,300 jobs in November.
“Seven of ten private super sectors added jobs in November. Professional and business services added the most jobs in November following losses in September and October, that’s up 2,500,” Kelly says. ” Within this super sector, administrative and support services gained 2,000 jobs to fuel most of the monthly growth. Manufacturing gained 1,700 jobs and was fueled by hiring in durable goods factories — up 1,600.” Kelly says it the third consecutive month of growth for manufacturing.
“Financial activities rebounded from a slight decline last month and gained one-thousand-500 jobs in November. Finance and insurance was responsible for most of the growth although the real estate and rental industries contributed 300 jobs,” he says. The construction industry was one of the areas where jobs were lost in November. Kelly says the manufacturing industry has been the leader through the year in job growth.
“Iowa establishments have gained 22,700 jobs, that’s a 1.4% uptick. During that time, no sector has added more jobs than manufacturing, which is up 9,200,” according to Kelly. “Nondurable goods factories are up 5,000 jobs and durable goods are up 4,200 jobs.
Construction had been a strong sector last year, but that has changed. “Losses have been dominated by construction, which is down 6,100, which has trailed last year’s mark much the year. It has been steadily trending down following record levels last year. Also, other services are down 1,400 over last year’s mark and information has pared about a thousand jobs.”
The number of unemployed Iowans in November is estimated at 49,100, which is 10,700 lower than last year. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 4.1% in November.