The state’s historically low unemployment rate held at 2.4% in November and Iowa Workforce Development spokesman, Cory Kelly, says the state now is at the top for lowest rate.
Kelly says Hawaii’s unemployment rate dipped down a bit in November and now Iowa is tied with Hawaii for the lowest rate in the nation. Kelly says the last time Iowa had the lowest unemployment rate in the country was March of 2000 when it tied with South Dakota and Virginia at 2.4%.
The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 40,600 in November from 41,200 in October.The national unemployment rate held at 3.7% in November. Kelly says any job losses in November were offset by the gains.
“Those gains were strongest in durable goods factories — specifically agriculture, construction, and mining machinery manufacturing shops,” Kelly says. He says manufacturing gained 1,100 jobs in the month. “Through the year, 2018 manufacturing has overwhelming trended up,” Kelly says, “losses occurred only in two months of the year and accounted for only 200 jobs lost.”
The November unemployment rate this year is down a half a percent compared to last year. “Total nonfarm remains 15,900 jobs beyond last November’s mark. At this point most of all of the annual increase stems from good producing sectors, talking about manufacturing again, that’s up 8,600 jobs over last November. We also have seen a rebound in construction — that remains up 6,000 jobs,” according to Kelly. Leisure and hospitality continues to be an area that is seeing losses in jobs.
“Down about 1,400, those jobs were heaviest in food services and drinking places. Recently, this sector has shown signs of reduced demand for services,” Kelly says. “Accommodations and food services shed jobs in six of the last seven months in Iowa.” The number of working Iowans increased by 1,900 compared to October and is 23,300 higher than one year ago.