The state unemployment rate went down in May. “Iowa’s seasonably adjusted unemployment rate fell to 2.7% in May,” according to Iowa Workforce Development spokesman Cory Kelly. The rate was 2.8% in April.

Kelly says the unemployment rate has not been this low since 2001. The construction industry was one that added more jobs in May — which boosted the yearly total for the industry.”Construction hiring is again on the upswing with over 4,000 jobs added (this year). Trade industries fueled much of the growth this month. Wholesale trade rebounded from two consecutive months of losses to add 1,100 jobs,” Kelly says. The retail trades added jobs in May — the first time this has happened in 2018.

“Those job gains for retail are welcome news as this sector has steadily trended down since the recent high established in 2016,” Kelly says. “The overall outlook for retail however is for jobs to be trimmed as this sector deals with shifting consumer preferences.”

The Workforce Development report shows loses last month came in accommodations and food services (-800), nondurable goods manufacturing (-400), and finance and insurance (-400). Kelly says the low unemployment rate continues to make it tough for businesses to find skilled labor, but it can be helpful for those still looking for a job.

“This is good news for individuals who may have fallen out of the job market and have not seen a place for them in the recent past. This is an opportunity for them to reengage,” Kelly says. The unemployment rate in May was one-half percent lower than one year ago. The 2.7% state rate is still well below the 3.8% national rate.