Iowa unemployment rate dips to 4.6% in October

Number of unemployed Iowans is at its lowest point for the year

Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved slightly to 4.6 percent in October, down from 4.7 percent in September and markedly lower than the 5.1 percent recorded in October 2012, according to Iowa Workforce Development.

The statewide estimate of unemployed persons decreased to 75,900 in October from 78,700 in September and 82,600 in October 2012. The number of unemployed Iowans is at its lowest point for the year.

The total number of working Iowans reached a peak for the year of 1,583,300 in October. The figure is 3,000 higher than September and 35,700 higher than a year ago.

Total non-farm employment in Iowa declined by 800 jobs in October, bringing employment to 1,524,100. After reaching an all-time high of 1,533,400 in July, non-farm employment suffered job losses for the next three months.

Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development, said the October loss could be partially attributable to the federal government shutdown.

“The state’s unemployment rate continued to decrease in October, while the labor force and total employment measures were at their highest levels for the year," Wahlert said.

Education and health services accounted for the largest job gain in October at 2,600. Gains in the sector were evenly divided between education and health care.

October’s increase also puts the sector at a record high for both education and health care services.

Manufacturing rebounded last month, adding 1,600 jobs and following three consecutive months of losses. Although manufacturing led the recovery following the last recession, hiring in the sector began to cool during the second half of 2013.

Leisure and hospitality added 600 jobs in October due to gains in arts and entertainment.

The largest job loss in October was reflected in government, which cut 2,300 job, with state government accounting for 1,400 of the job losses. Another 1,600 job losses were posted for other services, trade and transportation lost 1,100 jobs, professional and business services lost 700, and information lost 400.

Iowa's non-farm employment remains up 7,100 jobs or 0.5 percent from October 2012.

Annual growth has been impeded by cutbacks in government, shedding 4,000 jobs, with state government alone cutting 2,200 jobs, or 3.3 percent of its workforce.

Education and health services moved into the lead among all sectors for the largest annual increase in employment, adding 3,900 jobs. Also posting annual increases were professional and business services, which added 3,700, and manufacturing, which added 3,500.Iowa Workforce Development will be release the jobless rates for Iowa cities and counties on Tuesday.

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