Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 2.7 Percent in May

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: June 16, 2022
Contact: Jesse Dougherty
Telephone: 515-725-5487
Email:  communications@iwd.iowa.gov

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Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 2.7 Percent in May

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped for the fifth consecutive month to 2.7 percent in May – down from 3.0 percent in April and from 4.5 percent one year ago. Job growth was mirrored in the Labor Force Participation Rate, which grew to 67.6 percent in May, up from 67.4 percent last month and 67.1 percent a year ago. The U.S. May unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent. 

The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,657,200 in May – a figure that is 10,400 higher than April and 52,300 higher than one year ago.

The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 46,800 in May from 50,900 in April.

“The May report is outstanding and welcome news!” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Every month that passes brings us closer to Iowa’s pre-pandemic employment level. But our real goal is higher. We want to continue to accelerate the recovery and get as many of Iowa’s 85,000 open jobs filled as quickly as we can.”

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Iowa’s total nonfarm employment is up 34,900 for the year despite shedding 500 jobs between April and May, with total employment now standing at 1,565,000 jobs. Goods-producing sectors declined by 1,100 with job gains in manufacturing being overmatched by specialty trade losses in the construction sector. Private service industries were unchanged versus last month. Government advanced by 600 jobs due mostly to growth within education. This sector now is up 4,400 jobs versus last year, with most of the growth being in local government.

Financial activities added the most jobs in May (+1,300). Most of the increase stemmed from insurance carriers and related activities. This is the first increase for financial activities since January. Manufacturing added 1,000 jobs due to hiring in nondurable goods shops. This is now the sixth consecutive gain for manufacturing stretching back to November 2021. Other services gained jobs in May (+600) and has now added jobs in three straight months. Leisure and hospitality increased slightly (+100) as arts and entertainment hiring overmatched declines in accommodations and food services.

Job losses in May were highest in construction (-2,100 jobs), the first loss for this sector after six straight months of job growth. Many of these losses were due to specialty trade construction projects paring jobs, possibly reflecting apprehension about launching new projects amid higher costs. Trade and transportation shed 900 jobs with much of the decrease stemming from retail trade (-800). Other sectors losing jobs in May included education and health care (-500) and professional and business services (-400).

Annually, leisure and hospitality has added the most jobs (+12,300). Most of these jobs have come from hiring in accommodations and food services (+9,300). Manufacturing establishments continued to grow their payrolls this month and are 8,100 jobs higher than last year’s mark. Retail trade has shown recent signs of cutbacks yet remains up 3,500 jobs. Annual job losses are sparse and limited to health care and social assistance (-1,600) and administration and support services (-1,400).

MEDIA ALERT: Local data for May 2022 will be posted to the IWD website on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.  Statewide data for June 2022 will be released on Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 9 a.m.
 

Employment and Unemployment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data
           
        Change from
  May April May April May
  2022 2022 2021 2022 2021
           
Civilian labor force 1,703,900 1,697,700 1,679,900 6,200 24,000
Unemployment 46,800 50,900 75,000 -4,100 -28,200
Unemployment rate 2.7% 3.0% 4.5% -0.3 -1.8
Employment 1,657,200 1,646,800 1,604,900 10,400 52,300
Labor Force Participation Rate 67.6% 67.4% 67.1% 0.2 0.5
           
U.S. unemployment rate 3.6% 3.6% 5.8% 0.0 -2.2
           
Nonfarm Employment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data
           
Total Nonfarm Employment 1,565,000 1,565,500 1,530,100 -500 34,900
Mining 2,300 2,300 2,300 0 0
Construction 78,900 81,000 77,400 -2,100 1,500
Manufacturing 225,400 224,400 217,300 1,000 8,100
Trade, transportation and utilities 312,800 313,700 307,000 -900 5,800
Information 19,400 19,600 18,800 -200 600
Financial activities 109,300 108,000 109,300 1,300 0
Professional and business services 140,300 140,700 139,700 -400 600
Education and health services 224,700 225,200 224,800 -500 -100
Leisure and hospitality 138,100 138,000 125,800 100 12,300
Other services 56,000 55,400 54,300 600 1,700
Government 257,800 257,200 253,400 600 4,400
 (above data subject to revision)          

 

Unemployment Insurance Claims for Iowa
           
        % Change from
  May April May April May
  2022 2022 2021 2022 2021
           
Initial claims 5,566 5,290 14,329 5.2% -61.2%
Continued claims          
     Benefit recipients 9,398 15,863 22,286 -40.8% -57.8%
     Weeks paid 24,244 42,720 75,625 -43.2% -67.9%
     Amount paid $11,155,734 $19,837,409 $28,312,773 -43.8% -60.6%

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