Iowa Unemployment Rate Eases Slightly to 6.0 Percent
Friday, May 20 2011 @ 11:12 AM CDT
Contact: Kerry Koonce: (515) 281-9646
DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate eased slightly in April to 6.0 percent from the previous month’s rate of 6.1 percent. The statewide jobless rate stood at 6.1 percent in April 2010. In contrast, the U.S. unemployment rate for April was at 9.0 percent, surpassing the Iowa rate by three full percentage points.
“Job gains accrued for the fourth consecutive month, but at a slightly slower pace,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “ Manufacturing continues to be the driving force in the Iowa recovery.”
The statewide estimate of unemployed persons declined slightly to 102,000 in April from 102,500 in March. The level was reported at 102,300 one year ago.
Total employment increased to 1,583,400 in April from 1,581,100 in March, confirming further progress in the state’s recovery. The April figure was 15,200 higher than one year ago.
Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment
Nonfarm employment added 700 jobs in April, bringing the current level to 1,480,200. The monthly increase marks the fourth consecutive month of gains, and equates to an expansion of 7,000 jobs compared to this time last year. The goods-producing sectors fueled most of the job growth in April, while the service-providing sectors turned in a weak performance.
Manufacturing led all sectors with a gain of 1,400 in April. Growth in durable goods manufacturing was concentrated in wood product and machinery manufacturing, while nondurable goods benefited from increases in beverage and food-producing plants. Construction posted the second-largest increase in April, up 1,200. Professional and business services advanced by 500, as increases in landscaping and temporary help services more than offset losses in professional, scientific, and technical services. Conversely, losses in April were heaviest in four sectors: other services (-900), leisure and hospitality (-800), education and health services (-600), and trade, transportation, and utilities (-500).
Iowa’s gain of 7,000 jobs since last April represented an increase of 0.5 percent. The private sector accounted for all of the annual gains, with the service-providing industries reflecting most of the growth. Leisure and hospitality posted the largest gain since last April, up 4,400. Manufacturing and professional and business services followed with gains of 3,100 and 3,000 respectively. Trade and transportation increased by 2,400. Construction, still mired in the housing downturn, posted a loss of 2,700 over the year. Other services pared 1,600 jobs, and information decreased by 1,200.
MEDIA ALERT: An audio cut of comments about Iowa’s labor market situation is available by calling (515) 281-6057. Statewide data for May 2011 will be released on June 17, and local data will be available on June 21, 2011.
Visit www.iowaworkforce.org/lmi/laborforce/locallaborforce.html for county unemployment rates,
www.iowaworkforce.org/lmi/laborforce/index.html for current and historical labor force data and
www.iowaworkforce.org/lmi/empstat/msanonag.htm for detailed information on nonfarm employment.