Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 31, 2014
BUSINESS

Iowa unemployment rate at 4.4 percent

Jun 23, 2014

DES MOINES — Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent in May from an April rate of 4.3 percent.

The state’s jobless rate stood at 4.8 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 6.3 percent in May.

“Iowa’s nonfarm employment continued to trend upward in May, as several sectors reached all-time highs this month,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Additionally, gains in the labor force and total employment provide further proof of increasing worker and business confidence in the state’s expanding job market.”

The number of unemployed Iowans increased to 74,100 in May from 73,500 in April. The current estimate is 5,900 lower than the year ago level of 80,000.

The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,624,300 in May from 1,621,200 in April. This figure was 3,100 higher than April and 33,100 higher than one year ago.

 

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Iowa nonfarm employment increased to 1,548,700 in May, an increase of 6,200 over April. Gains were distributed among several sectors and included 800 jobs added in government at the state and local levels. Private services led the way with 3,400 jobs added, while goods-producing sectors gained 2,000 jobs.

This month’s increase marks a definite trend upward since January, and leaves Iowa up 25,300 versus one year ago. Several sectors surpassed all-time highs this month, including: financial activities, professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality.

Professional and business services added 1,300 jobs this month to lead all sectors. Much of the gain was fueled by rapid hiring in the administrative support and waste management services (+1,600), and included strong seasonal hiring in temporary help and lawn and landscaping services.

Leisure and hospitality also experienced large growth (+1,200) which was bolstered by hiring in arts and entertainment sectors. Manufacturing added jobs this month (+1,100), marking the first monthly gain since December. Hiring was distributed between both durable and nondurable goods factories.

Other gains this month included education and health services (+900), construction (+800), and financial activities (+800).

Losses were light again this month, and were led by other services (-500), followed by trade and transportation (-200) and information (-100).

Compared to last year, nonfarm employment continues to steadily advance upward. Most sectors have increased since last May with gains being heaviest in leisure and hospitality (+4,700), construction (+4,600) and trade and transportation (+4,500).

Two indicator sectors, manufacturing and finance, have shown recent signs of cooling yet remain up 1,800 and 900 jobs, respectively. Only information (-1,200) and other services (-200) have pared jobs compared to last year.

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