Area sees rise in unemployment
Unemployment in Jefferson County rose from 5.8 percent in November to 6.5 percent in December.
According to Iowa Workforce Development figures, in November, Jefferson County had a labor force of 7,790, with 7,340 employed and 450 unemployed. In December, the county had a labor force of 7,540, with 7,050 employed and 490 unemployed. The Iowa Workforce Development figures show an increase in unemployment in Van Buren County from 6.0 percent in November to 7.3 percent in December.
In November, Van Buren County had a labor force of 3,760, with 3,530 employed and 230 unemployed. In December, the county had a labor force of 3,720, with 3,450 employed and 270 unemployed.
In nearby Henry County, the unemployment rate increased from 5.5 percent in November to 6.2 percent in December.
In Washington County, the rate increased from 3.4 percent in November to 4.1 percent in December.
Lyon County had the lowest unemployment rate in December: 2.6 percent, although it was up from 2.2 percent in November. Lee County had the highest unemployment rate in December: 9.1 percent. It was up from 7.5 percent in November.
The county employment numbers are not seasonally adjusted.
Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was unchanged at 4.9 percent. The current rate is seven-tenths of a percentage point lower than the year ago rate of 5.6 percent.
The U.S. jobless rate for December was also the same as the prior month, remaining at 7.8 percent.
The number of unemployed Iowans decreased slightly to 80,000 in December from 80,200 in November. The level stood at 93,400 one year ago.
The total number of working Iowans edged down to 1,558,600 in December from 1,560,500 in November. The December figure compared with 1,573,300 for December 2011.