April 2, 2015
Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in February from 4.2 percent in January. The state’s jobless rate was 4.4 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in February.
“Iowa’s unemployment rate continued to trend down in February,” said Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “While nonfarm employment decreased slightly this month, so too did the number of unemployed workers. Virtually all employment and labor force indicators continue to show improvement compared to last year.”
The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 70,100 in February from 71,800 in January. The current estimate is 4,000 lower than the year ago level of 74,100.
The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,646,100 in February. This figure is 1,100 higher than January and 27,100 higher than a year ago.
Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment
Iowa’s nonfarm employment shed 400 jobs in February, lowering nonfarm employment down to 1,561,700 jobs. This month’s decline is small and the first since September. State and local governments fueled a loss of 1,700 in total government, but this sector remains up 3,400 jobs annually due to hiring in public education. Private services experience a small drop (-300), while goods producing sectors advanced this month (+1,600).
Manufacturing added the most jobs this month (+1,200) due primarily to hiring in nondurable goods factories (+1,000). Education and healthcare increased this month and were fueled entirely by gains in private education (+1,000). Private education shed employment in each of the past three months, so an increase was expected this month. Financial activities advanced this month (+800) following smaller losses in each of the last two months. Overall, Iowa’s financial industries have steadily trended up over the past several months and now rest 1,000 jobs higher than last February. Losses this month were led by trade and transportation (-1,500) and chiefly due to the last of the seasonal retail hires being shed. Other losses were minor and included professional and business services (-600) and information services (-400).
Since last February, Iowa nonfarm employment has added 21,800 jobs (+1.4 percent). Virtually all sectors have added jobs over the last twelve months with the largest gains being in construction (+6,700), trade transportation (+3,200), and professional and business services (+2,900). The only super sector to pare employment was information services (-1,000).
Courtesy of Guthrie Center Times, 4/1/15, Guthrie County Vedette, 4/2/15, the Adair News, 4/2/15