Iowa nonfarm hiring 'sluggish' past two months

Unemployment rate stayed at 3.1 percent in April

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Iowa’s construction and manufacturing industries shed jobs in the past 12 months, but the state’s nonfarm employment still has gained ground.

The state’s unemployment rate in April remained at 3.1 percent, matching the March jobless rate. It also was down from 3.8 percent in April 2016.

In addition, nonfarm employment has gained 8,000 jobs in the past 12 months.

Even so, nonfarm hiring was “sluggish” in March and April after a surge earlier in the year, Iowa Workforce Development said Friday.

While there were year-over-year gains, Iowa has lost 1,400 nonfarm jobs since February, the agency said.

The state lost 500 nonfarm jobs from March to April, with six of Iowa’s 11 industry clusters shedding jobs. The biggest declines were in construction and manufacturing.

“There was another small decrease in total nonfarm employment for the state, a possible sign that businesses are a little more apprehensive about hiring to begin the summer season compared to previous years,” Townsend said in a statement.

The unemployment rate nationwide fell to 4.4 percent in April, down from 4.5 percent in March and 5 percent the year before.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; matthew.patane@thegazette.com

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Iowa Employment














































































































Industry April 2017 March 2017 April 2016 One-month change One-year change
Mining 2,500 2,500 2,200 0 300
Construction 79,800 81,300 81,100 -1,500 -1,300
Manufacturing 210,400 211,100 214,500 -700 -4,100
Trade, transportation, utilities 318,200 318,500 315,900 -300 2,300
Information 21,100 21,400 22,600 -300 -1,500
Financial activities 111,500 110,700 108,000 800 3,500
Professional and business services 142,900 142,500 139,000 400 3,900
Education and health services 233,900 232,100 228,600 1,800 5,300
Leisure and hospitality 142,800 142,500 143,300 300 -500
Other services 60,300 60,800 58,900 -500 1,400
Government 256,300 256,800 257,600 -500 -1,300
Total nonfarm employment 1,579,700 1,580,200 1,571,700 -500 8,000

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