Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Decreases to 3.5 Percent in December

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: January 25, 2022
Contact: Jesse Dougherty
Telephone: 515-725-5487
Email:  communications@iwd.iowa.gov

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Iowa's Unemployment Rate Decreases to 3.5 Percent in December

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent in December, down from 3.7 percent in November and 3.7 percent a year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent.

The total number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 57,900 in December, down 3,800 from November.

The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,604,800 in December. This figure is 5,200 higher than November and 45,200 higher than one year ago.

The labor force participation rate increased slightly to 66.9 percent.

“Growth and recovery continue throughout Iowa, with positive trends across many sectors of our state’s economy,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “More than 45,000 Iowans joined the employed last year as Iowa reignited its focus on job growth and getting citizens back to work. We intend to build on this momentum this year by using our Reemployment Case Management and other improvements to help more and more Iowans find new careers in 2022.”

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Iowa establishments added 11,700 jobs in December, ending the year on a high note with job gains in each of the last four months. Additionally, firms showed signs of gaining momentum in the second half of the year with 29,200 jobs added in the final six months. The December gain did include striking manufacturing workers returning to the production lines following a corresponding drop in durable goods production in November. Private industries were responsible for all of the jobs added this month, as government was unchanged versus last month but has added 7,100 jobs since last December.

Manufacturing added the most jobs in December (+6,100) as strikers returned to work. Virtually all of the movement was within durable goods, although nondurable goods factories added 100 jobs. Construction advanced for the second straight month and has now risen by 2,000 jobs since October. This sector has generally trended down throughout the year, but gains were seen over the past six months. Both wholesale and retail trade advanced again, with 2,300 jobs combined added in December. Both sectors have provided strong evidence that consumers and businesses are increasing demand for goods, with both industries steadily advancing since May and adding 14,000 jobs. Smaller sector gains in December included accommodations and food services (+1,000) and other services (+600). Job losses were light this month and included professional, scientific, and technical services (-500) and finance and insurance (-400). This month’s decline marks the third consecutive decline for this sector.

Annually, total nonfarm employment increased by 41,200 jobs over the past 12 months. Leisure and hospitality continued their recovery in December and finished the year up 19,600 jobs or 16.7 percent, easily the highest of any super sector. Manufacturing is up 6,500 jobs with healthy growth in both durable and non-durable goods industries. Retail trade has been lifted by strong hiring in 2021 and has helped fuel a gain of 5,600 jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities. Losses have occurred in administrative and waste management industries (-1,800) and construction (-1,600).

MEDIA ALERT:  Local data for December 2021 is available on the IWD website. Statewide and local data for January 2022 will be released on Monday, March 14, 2022.
 

Employment and Unemployment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data
           
        Change from
  December November December November December
  2021 2021 2020 2021 2020
           
Civilian labor force 1,662,700 1,661,300 1,619,400 1,400 43,300
Unemployment 57,900 61,700 59,900 -3,800 -2,000
Unemployment rate 3.5% 3.7% 3.7% -0.2 -0.2
Employment 1,604,800 1,599,600 1,559,600 5,200 45,200
Labor Force Participation Rate 66.9% 66.8% 65.3% 0.1 1.6
           
U.S. unemployment rate 3.9% 4.2% 6.7% -0.3 -2.8
           
Nonfarm Employment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data
           
Total Nonfarm Employment 1,554,600 1,542,900 1,513,400 11,700 41,200
Mining 2,300 2,300 2,400 0 -100
Construction 76,300 75,200 77,900 1,100 -1,600
Manufacturing 224,700 218,600 218,200 6,100 6,500
Trade, transportation and utilities 313,800 310,800 308,200 3,000 5,600
Information 18,300 18,200 18,500 100 -200
Financial activities 110,000 110,400 109,600 -400 400
Professional and business services 135,100 135,100 136,400 0 -1,300
Education and health services 223,200 223,000 220,600 200 2,600
Leisure and hospitality 137,300 136,300 117,700 1,000 19,600
Other services 57,800 57,200 55,200 600 2,600
Government 255,800 255,800 248,700 0 7,100
 (above data subject to revision)          

 

Unemployment Insurance Claims for Iowa
           
        % Change from
  December November December November December
  2021 2021 2020 2021 2020
           
Initial claims 17,762 9,982 38,918 77.9% -54.4%
Continued claims          
     Benefit recipients 17,573 9,665 43,988 81.8% -60.1%
     Weeks paid 61,696 29,593 155,078 108.5% -60.2%
     Amount paid $26,730,595 $12,513,463 $56,995,557 113.6% -53.1%

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