Business

Iowa unemployment rate drops to 6%, lowest since start of pandemic

Statewide employment increases, workforce shrinks

Job seekers wait in line to speak with representatives. (Bloomberg)
Job seekers wait in line to speak with representatives. (Bloomberg)

Iowa’s unemployment rate slid from 6.8 percent in July to 6.0 percent in August, Iowa Workforce Development said Friday, marking the lowest statewide unemployment rate since March.

After joblessness peaked at 11 percent in April, it gradually has decreased the past four months.

“The sustained decline shows the resilience of Iowa’s economy as we navigate the impact of the pandemic,” Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said in a statement.

“We encourage job seekers to make an appointment at one of our IowaWORKS offices or use our new mobile application to connect with employers.”

It’s still a far cry from pre-pandemic levels, though. At this time last year, unemployment was at 2.8 percent statewide.

While the number of employed Iowans increased by 4,000 in July, many people are leaving the workforce. The civilian labor force shrunk by 9,700.

The labor participation rate is down to 65.3 percent, the lowest point in the 20 years of data available on Iowa Workforce Development’s website.

Comments: (319) 398-8394; john.steppe@thegazette.com

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