Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 1, 2014

County’s unemployment rate up slightly from last year

By ANDY HALLMAN | Mar 21, 2013

Jefferson County’s unemployment rate rose marginally from January 2012 to this past January.

The county’s unemployment rate was 7.2 in January compared to 7.1 the year before. Other counties in southeast Iowa saw their unemployment rates rise significantly.

Van Buren County’s unemployment rate rose from 7.4 to 8 percent. Lee County’s rose from 9.1 to 10.9 percent, making it the highest in the state. Des Moines County’s rate jumped nearly two percentage points as well, going from 7.4 to 9.2 percent.

Henry County’s unemployment rate dropped the most of any county in southeast Iowa as it fell from 8.1 to 7.6 percent. Washington and Wapello counties experienced a mild drop. Washington County went from 5.8 percent unemployment to 5.7 percent, while Wapello dipped from 7.9 to 7.8 percent.

Keokuk County’s unemployment rose slightly from 6.8 to 7 percent, and Davis County followed a similar path as its rate underwent a bump from 7 to 7.2 percent.

The state of Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped from 5.4 percent in January 2012 to an even 5 percent in January. It is nearly three percentage points lower than the national average of 7.9 percent unemployment.

Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development, said in a press release, the data indicate a positive trend toward lower unemployment in the state over the past two years. Iowa’s annual average unemployment rate fell from 5.9 percent in 2011 to 5.2 percent in 2012.

“Hiring was also stronger last year than initially estimated with most industries receiving upward revisions to job growth,” she said.

Non-farm employment increased by 3,700 jobs in January to 1,519,400, which is a reversal of consecutive months of declines. Total non-farm employment is currently 19,500 jobs higher than one year ago.

The manufacturing sector led the way in adding jobs since January 2012. That sector grew by 7,300 jobs, an increase of 3.5 percent. Durable goods products represented 5,200 of the annual job gain in manufacturing. Other large gains were reported for professional and business services, which accounted for 3,900 more jobs, and trade and transportation, which added 2,300.

The information sector was the only sector to lose jobs in the past year, and it lost 100.

 

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