Iowa unemployment rate edges up in July

Employers expand payrolls, but fewer Iowans working

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Iowa’s jobless rate rose slightly to 4.1 percent in July from 4 percent in June as fewer residents were working despite employers expanding their payrolls.

The number of unemployed Iowans rose to 70,600 in July from 68,200 in June. The current estimate is 9,000 higher than the year ago level of 61,600.

The total number of working Iowans declined to 1,640,500 in July, 2,300 lower than June and 3,200 higher than a year ago.

In a news release, Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development, said Iowa’s economy revealed both strength and weakness in July.

“Even as the state’s unemployment rate crept up a tenth of a point, Iowa businesses still showed enough confidence to expand payrolls this month,” Townsend said. “Hiring in health care and professional and business services was particularly strong.”

Total nonfarm employment in Iowa added 3,400 jobs in July, rising to 1,584,700. Service industries added all of the jobs as goods-producing sectors shed 200 positions.

Education and health care added 1,700 jobs to lead all sectors. Health care added 1,200 jobs due mostly to hiring in ambulatory health care services, which includes dental offices and clinics.

Education services also advanced in July, erasing a slight decline in June of 200 jobs. Professional and business services snapped a two-month decline by adding 1,500 jobs in July.

Construction continues to sustain job growth in Iowa with an increase of 12,800 jobs. Education and health care also remains markedly higher, adding 4,800 jobs due to demand for the essential services.

Losses continue to plague Iowa’s manufacturing sector, which has lost more jobs than all other sectors combined.

Deere has more than 2,000 employees on layoff as the farm equipment and construction sectors experience soft product demand.

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