Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: July 21, 2015
Contact: Courtney Greene
Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.7 Percent
DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent in June from 3.8 percent in May. The state’s jobless rate was 4.4 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.3 percent in June.
“For the fourth time this year, the unemployment rate is down,” said Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “As the low unemployment trend continues, encouraging gains are being seen in the retail sector; the business establishment survey added 3,000 retail jobs this month.”
The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 63,700 in June from 64,800 in May. The current estimate is 10,500 lower than the year ago level of 74,200.
The total number of working Iowans decreased to 1,640,800 in June. This figure was 4,900 lower than May, and 11,300 higher than one year ago.
Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment
Iowa’s nonfarm employment added 3,000 jobs in June, raising the total to 1,570,600 jobs. This month’s increase is the second-straight gain and heavily influenced by hiring in private services. Goods-producing industries added a slight 200 jobs, and government gained 700 after paring workers over the last few months. Despite recent weakness, government remains up 5,000 jobs versus last June due to hiring at the state and local levels. Total nonfarm employment for the state is up 23,400 jobs annually.
In June, the largest monthly movement occurred in trade and transportation (+4,300). This month’s increase was heavily influenced by strong hiring in retail trade following disappointing returns in April and May. Retail trade has steadily advanced over last year’s level since September and is now 4,000 higher than last June. Other monthly gains included professional and business services (+900), financial activities (+900) and other services (+400). Unexpected losses this month occurred in education and health services (-2,200) and leisure and hospitality (-2,100). Both of the sectors have had strong hiring through the first part of the year. Minor losses also occurred in information and mining.
Since last year, trade and transportation has added the most jobs (+7,600) and has been responsible for almost a third of all the new jobs in Iowa. Construction added a slight 200 jobs this month yet remains second in overall jobs added (+3,800) followed by professional and business services (+3,400). On the other hand, manufacturing was little changed since May and remains down 1,200 versus last year’s level. Losses have been due to cutbacks within Iowa’s durable goods factories (-3,300). The information sector continues to pare employment and is down 1,200 annually.
MEDIA ALERT: An audio cut of comments about Iowa’s labor market situation is available by calling 515-281-6057. Statewide data for July will be released on Friday, August 21, 2015. Local data for July will be posted to the IWD website on Tuesday, August 25, 2015.