Business

Iowa unemployment stays at 2.6 percent in November

A sign in the window of DaVinci art supplies in New York advertises for workers. U.S. job growth slowed sharply in March
A sign in the window of DaVinci art supplies in New York advertises for workers. U.S. job growth slowed sharply in March. (Richard B. Levine/Sipa USA/TNS)

Iowa’s unemployment rate stayed at 2.6 percent for a second straight month in November, Iowa Workforce Development said Friday.

The state’s jobless rate crept up to 2.6 percent after three months at 2.5 percent, between July and September. Before that, the unemployment rate was lodged at 2.4 percent for a full year, since July 2018.

There were 1,711,700 working Iowans in November — an increase of 8,200 from October and 60,400 from November 2018, said Agency Director Beth Townsend in a news release.

“The interest and need in growing our skilled workforce remains at an all-time high as our unemployment rate remains low and we continuously have more openings than people to fill them,” she said.

“The statewide collaboration, support and participation in Future Ready Iowa is what is going to help Iowa close our skills gap and ensure continued economic growth.”

Iowa Workforce Development’s latest data shows 1,100 more Iowans were jobless in November compared to October, as the number of unemployed workers increased from 45,100 to 46,200. That estimate is 5,900 higher than in November 2018.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent in November.

On the whole, Iowa businesses shed 1,500 jobs in November, marking the state’s first net decline in positions since March.

The state averaged 500 jobs added over each of the three preceding months.

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A collective 2,300 jobs were lost in November in financial, professional and business services, though 1,600 jobs were added in other services, including personal services and repairs, plus health care and social assistance.

Iowans who have stopped looking for work or who otherwise have cycled out of the system are not counted among the unemployed.

Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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