Business

Iowa unemployment rate drops to 8 percent in June

Signs indicate workers leaving labor force as pandemic continues

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Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.2 percent in May to 8 percent in June, Iowa Workforce Development said Friday, as Iowa reopens its economy.

It’s the state’s lowest unemployment rate since March’s 3.3 percent.

June’s unemployment rate still is far above pre-pandemic levels, though. At this time last year, Iowa’s unemployment rate was 2.7 percent.

“The decline in the unemployment rate by 2 percentage points in June is welcome news after several months of historically high rates of unemployment,” Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development, said in a statement.

“Moving out of double-digit unemployment is a tremendously positive good sign for our economic recovery as businesses reopen and Iowans return to work.”

The number of unemployed Iowans decreased from 173,000 to 131,000 in June, but the number of working Iowans also decreased by 12,900, suggesting people are leaving the workforce.

Iowa’s labor force participation rate — 66.2 percent — is lower than in either of the previous two recessions, but it’s better than the nationwide 61.5 percent labor participation rate.

Unemployment numbers only reflect people seeking work and do not necessarily give a full picture of how many people are out of work.

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

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