CORONAVIRUS

Unemployment hits highs in Linn, Johnson counties

Winnebago had highest count at 17.6 percent

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Unemployment spiked in Linn and Johnson counties in April as the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to shutter or take cost-cutting measures.

Linn County’s unemployment rate for April was 12.4 percent, a steep jump from 3.8 percent in March and 2.6 percent late last year.

Only nine counties had higher unemployment rates in April.

Johnson County’s unemployment rate was up from 2.5 percent in March, to 9.8 percent in April. Late last year, unemployment in Johnson was below 2 percent.

These figures are not seasonally adjusted. The non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Iowa from April was 10.7 percent.

Both counties are seeing higher unemployment rates than in either of the past two recessions.

Winnebago saw the highest numbers, at 17.6 percent.

“We remain hopeful that, as we reopen the state and more people return to work, the rate will decrease quickly and this unprecedented rate will be a very temporary one,” said Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development, in a statement last week.

Statewide, leisure and hospitality industries lost 48.6 percent of jobs in April.

These numbers only show people actively seeking employment and do not necessarily paint a full picture.

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

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