Business

Iowa adds jobs for first time since February

The state's unemployment rate remained at 3.1 percent

Buses wait to depart from the Ground Transportation Center on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Cedar Rapids. (file photo) (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Buses wait to depart from the Ground Transportation Center on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Cedar Rapids. (file photo) (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Iowa gained jobs for the first time since February in May, offsetting job losses for the previous two months, Iowa Workforce Development said Friday.

The state’s nonfarm employment added 5,500 in May, which surpassed the 3,500 jobs lost collectively in March and April.

Iowa’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.1 percent, the same as April but down from 3.8 percent a year ago.

Year over year, Iowa has gained 15,200 nonfarm jobs, led by increases in the trade and transportation sector and health care, according to Iowa Workforce Development. Iowa’s manufacturing and construction sectors have lost more than 1,000 jobs each since May of last year.

The state’s labor force — a combination of employed Iowans and those looking for work — has decreased by 11,100 people since May 2016.

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

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