Iowa unemployment rate steady at 4.9 percent for December

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When comparing 2011 and 2012 numbers, Iowa's unemployment rates look like they're on the mend. Last month, the unemployment rate maintained at 4.9 percent, a slight decline from 5.6 percent in December of 2011. U.S. jobless rates also showed a steady rate of 7.8 percent for December that also matched the previous month.

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 December data also reflected a stronger hiring pattern in construction, which was reflected in both monthly and annual job gains,” Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development said .

According to the agency, in December total nonfarm employment added a slight 300 jobs, while the construction sector added the most of any with 1,400 new jobs. Nonfarm employment total was 14,400 higher than one year ago. The growth was also seen in the numbers for the entire year.

In spite of the growth, not every sector reported rise in numbers. Retail trade, transportation and warehousing and state government all reported losses for 2012.

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