Iowa Workforce Development spokesman Cory Kelly says some businesses have still been adding workers despite the very low unemployment. “We saw a decrease again in unemployed Iowans — that went down to 47,900 from 48,300 in January. That estimate is about 8,500 lower than one year ago,” Kelly says. He says the number of jobs has steadily been increasing from last February when the unemployment rate was three-point-four percent.
“With nine-thousand-900 jobs having been added. That growth has been mostly concentrated in private service sectors, and that’s about five-thousand-700 jobs,” Kelly says. “Although goods producing industries have also been trending up.” The job additions have offset loses — with one area in particular continuing to see fewer workers.
“Construction is again shedding jobs in February — now marking the fourth consecutive loss stretching back to October,” Kelly says. “As a reminder, last year we had historical highs (in construction jobs) and we are coming off of those and going back to a state of normalcy,” Kelly says. Kelly says Iowa’s unemployment rate continues to be one of the lowest in the country.
“Nationwide the unemployment rate remained at 4.1% in February,” Kelly says, “Iowa’s currently ranked sixth nationally, tied with Maine and Wisconsin.” One Iowa city stood out on the national stage.
“Ames has the lowest unemployment rate for the entire United States for this past month of January,” Kelly says. Ames had an unemployment rate of 1.8% in January, just ahead of Honolulu, Hawai. Kelly says we’ll know next week if Ames held that spot when local unemployment numbers are released again.