116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Iowa’s unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in March, according to preliminary data released by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday.
Iowa’s non-farm employment jumped by 15,100 with overall employment increasing by 3,400.
The number of unemployed Iowans seeking work also rose by 400 despite the job growth, signaling Iowa’s labor force is expanding.
The state’s labor force participation rate in March increased slightly from 65.7 percent to 65.8 percent. It’s the third consecutive month of increases after Iowa’s labor force participation decreased for 13 consecutive months.
Construction had the largest month-to-month increase in employment with 7,500 new jobs, followed by manufacturing with 1,800, and leisure and hospitality with 1,600.
Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said the rise in hospitality jobs “indicates people are getting out and doing things we took for granted pre-pandemic like visiting our local restaurant or movie theater.”
“I am hopeful this return to normal will continue across all industries and help us return to our usual low unemployment rate,” Townsend said in a news release.
The leisure and hospitality still has 19,400 fewer jobs in March 2021 than in March of the previous year.
Other industries to have significantly fewer jobs than in March 2020 include education and health services with 14,400 fewer jobs and government with 12,400 fewer jobs.
Overall, the state has 98,200 fewer jobs than in March 2020, including 58,400 fewer non-farm jobs.
Iowa’s unemployment rate is 0.8 percent above the March 2020 rate. The state’s labor force participation rate is 3.7 percent below levels for the same month the previous year.
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