Unemployment rate falls in Corridor

Linn County unemployment rate slips to 5.1 percent in March from February's 5.5 percent

More people were employed in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Corridor in March than in February, according to Iowa Workforce Development.

Data released Tuesday shows 136,400 residents of the Cedar Rapids metropolitan statistical area were working last month, up from 136,100 in February but down from 136,700 in March 2012. The unemployment rate dipped 7 percent to 5.3 percent in March from 5.7 percent in February and fell 11.7 percent from 6 percent in March 2012.

Total nonfarm employment in the Cedar Rapids metropolitan statistical area added 300 jobs from February, and stands at 139,800 jobs. This represents no change from one year ago.

Activity among the individual industries was minimal. There was some upward movement in leisure and hospitality and natural resources and construction with gains of 200 jobs in each. Financial activities added 100 jobs.

Government partially offset those gains with a loss of 200 jobs.

In the Iowa City metropolitan statistical area, 89,400 residents were working last month, up from 88,600 in February and 88,200 in March 2012. The jobless rate dropped 0.2 percent to 3.5 percent in March from 3.7 percent in February and fell 0.8 percent from 4.3 percent in March 2012.

Nonfarm employment in the Iowa City metropolitan statistical area gained 600 jobs from last month. The job gains were split among government, goods-producing and private service -providing industries. Government and goods-producing industries each added 200 jobs.

No Iowa City area industries have shed jobs from a year ago, although leisure and hospitality remains unchanged. Government has added just 100 jobs, professional and business services added 300 jobs and an additional 600 jobs were added in trade, transportation and warehousing.

The Linn County unemployment rate slipped to 5.1 percent in March from 5.5 percent in February. In Johnson County, the jobless rate edged down to 3.4 percent in March from 3.5 percent in February.

Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March dropped to 4.9 percent from 5.0 percent in February, according to the state.

March's jobless rate was significantly below the 5.4 percent recorded in March 2012.

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