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Iowa jobless rate stays flat

State reports 2.4 percent looked for work in March

Severe flooding that drenched wide swathes of Iowa this past month and causing record-high damage didn’t put much of a dent in the month’s jobless rate — at least, not yet.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate hung on at 2.4 percent for March, according to Iowa Workforce Development.

That’s compared to 2.7 percent for the same month in 2018 for Iowa. Nationwide, the unemployment rate for last month came in at 3.8 percent nationwide, the state said in a news release Friday.

“It appears that the devastating flooding that plagued so much of the state in March has not yet impacted our unemployment rates,” IWD Director Beth Townsend said in the release.

“The next few months will be more telling as to the extent of the effect on the state’s unemployment rate. For now, our unemployment rate remains at a historically low level and the number of Iowans in the workforce continues to grow.”

The number of working Iowans climbed to approximately 1.7 million for the month. That’s 5,400 higher than February, and a rise of 28,000 more than March 2018.

Unemployment also saw a jump, however. That figure for March rose to some 40,500 — up by 10,000 from the month before. But that’s still 5,000 fewer people seeking work than from March of last year.

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The figures do not include those who have stopped looking for work or otherwise have moved out of the system.

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