Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: December 17, 2021
Contact: Jesse Dougherty
Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.7 percent in November
Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent in November, down from 3.9 percent in October and 3.9 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent.
The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 61,600 in November from 64,800 in October.
The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,599,300 in November. This figure is 3,100 higher than October and 38,400 higher than one year ago.
The labor force participation rate remained steady at 66.8 percent.
“Iowa’s economy continued to improve in November, with gains in employment nearly across the board,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Iowa companies showed more comfort with increasing their staffing levels, and they found plenty of Iowans ready to launch new careers. We hope to build on this growth in 2022, when our Reemployment Case Management program will add new urgency to the process of helping Iowans find employment.”
Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment
Despite improvement in the unemployment rate, total nonfarm employment in November decreased by 1,000 jobs, primarily due to data impacts from a temporary labor dispute. (Differences in methodology meant workers involved in the labor dispute were still counted as employed workers in the unemployment rate survey; however, the survey used to determine nonfarm employment counted those same jobs as lost.) Due to the temporary nature of the losses, it is expected that December’s release will show a substantial rebound from factory workers returning to their jobsites. November’s loss nevertheless leaves Iowa’s total nonfarm employment at 1,539,900 jobs, up 30,900 versus this time last year.
Manufacturing shed 5,500 jobs in November during the disruptions described above. This temporary reduction affected durable goods factories (-6,200) and overwhelmed job growth elsewhere. (Manufacturing job totals are expected to return to normal next month, when workers will be counted as rejoining the assembly lines.) Nondurable goods factories increased slightly (+600) in November. The only other sector to post a loss in November was information services (-400). Otherwise, job gains were seen in most other industries in November, with the largest coming in leisure and hospitality (+2,000). A majority of this increase stemmed from hiring within accommodations and food services. Professional and business services advanced by 1,100 jobs. The bulk of the hiring was within administration support and waste management. Smaller increases included health care and social assistance (+700) and construction (+600).
Annually, leisure and hospitality has added the most jobs of any super sector (+16,100). The majority of these job gains have been in accommodations and food services (+12,900). Retail trade has advanced by 4,100 jobs leading to a gain of 4,500 total in trade, transportation, and utilities. Education and health care services is up 3,500 jobs annually due to increased staffing in private education. Alternatively, construction has shed 1,600 jobs over the past 12 months. This could be a symptom of high input costs, material shortages, and/or just apprehension about investing in business upgrades or new projects at this time.
MEDIA ALERT: Local data for November 2021 will be posted to the IWD website on Tuesday, December 21, 2021. Statewide and local data for December 2021 will be released on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.
|Employment and Unemployment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data|
|Civilian labor force||1,660,900||1,661,000||1,625,000||-100||35,900|
|Labor Force Participation Rate||66.8%||66.8%||65.5%||0.0||1.3|
|U.S. unemployment rate||4.2%||4.6%||6.7%||-0.4||-2.5|
|Nonfarm Employment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data|
|Total Nonfarm Employment||1,539,900||1,540,900||1,509,000||-1,000||30,900|
|Trade, transportation and utilities||309,200||308,900||304,700||300||4,500|
|Professional and business services||134,600||133,500||134,700||1,100||-100|
|Education and health services||224,100||223,500||220,600||600||3,500|
|Leisure and hospitality||135,700||133,700||119,600||2,000||16,100|
|(above data subject to revision)|
|Unemployment Insurance Claims for Iowa|
|% Change from|