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Unemployment: Cedar Rapids loses 100 jobs, Iowa City area gains 900

Iowa's unemployment rate rises slightly to 4.2 percent

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Unemployment rates rose last month in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City metropolitan statistical areas, mirroring an uptick at the state level.

The Cedar Rapids MSA jobless rate rose from 4 percent in July to 4.3 percent in August, according to Iowa Workforce Development.

The Cedar Rapids area shed 100 nonfarm jobs from July. Total nonfarm employment remains 1,100 above a year ago.

The financial sector enjoyed the only over-the-month employment gain, adding 100 jobs. Trade, transportation and warehousing and leisure and hospitality each shed 100 jobs.

Government and information are the only sectors with over-the-year employment losses. Government pared 700 jobs and information eliminated 200 positions.

Professional and business services led all sectors with a gain of 800 jobs, accompanied by several smaller gains of 300 or less.

Nonfarm employment in the Iowa City MSA gained 900 jobs from July. Government enjoyed the greatest gain, adding 1,000 jobs, all in state government.

Leisure and hospitality added 100 jobs. Trade, transportation and warehousing dropped 200 jobs.

The Iowa City MSA added 1,700 jobs from a year ago with gains in nearly every sector. The only exceptions are trade, transportation and warehousing, which has shed 100 jobs, and goods producing, which is unchanged.

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.2 percent in August from 4.1 percent in July. Nonfarm jobs showed a 4,900 increase in August.

Mike Owen, executive director of the Iowa Policy Project in Iowa City, said last month’s increase in nonfarm employment is promising.

“The monthly average over the 12 months that ended in August is a 2,600-job increase,” Owen said. “If that were to hold for a calendar year, it would represent a significant boost over any year since the Great Recession of 2007-09.”

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