Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: September 15, 2022
Contact: Jesse Dougherty
Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Increases Slightly from 2.5 to 2.6 Percent in August, while U.S. Rate Jumped to 3.7
DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa’s unemployment rate increased slightly in August by a tenth-of-a-percent, despite strong hiring that brought the state to within 5,500 jobs of its March 2020 pre-pandemic employment level. The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent from 3.5 percent in July.
The increase to 2.6 percent from 2.5 percent unemployment in July was accompanied by 1,300 Iowans leaving the workforce. The largest single reason for leaving the labor force, according to participants in a survey of households, was a desire to attend school.
Meanwhile, a separate survey of employers found that Iowa businesses added 3,800 jobs in August, led by major gains in retail trade and leisure and hospitality. August marked the fifth consecutive monthly increase in jobs. Compared to a year ago, the state now has 55,000 more employed residents; 27,200 fewer unemployed and a labor force that is 27,800 workers stronger than in August 2021. Initial unemployment claims also remain near historic lows.
“We are pleased that August’s survey showed the continued positive trend of employers adding nearly 4,000 workers to Iowa’s workforce,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Iowa companies are still hiring, and the demand for workers still exists. We're committed to bridging that gap through IWD’s new Business Engagement Team--dedicated to helping Iowa employers access the workforce-building tools necessary to aid in their recruitment and hiring efforts.”
Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment
Iowa’s unemployment rate is determined based on a survey asking individual Iowans about their job status. A separate survey of employers found that Iowa firms added 3,800 jobs to their payrolls in August, lifting total nonfarm employment to 1,578,200. This month’s increase is the fifth consecutive since March, and the state has gained 15,800 jobs over the last five months. Private service industries were responsible for most of the growth in August (gaining 4,300), although goods producing industries added 600 jobs. Government lost jobs this month (-1,100) yet remains up 5,700 above last year’s level. August hiring also leaves total nonfarm employment just 5,500 jobs below the March 2020 pre-pandemic level.
Retail trade added 1,700 jobs in August to lead all sectors. This was welcomed news given that retail establishments had pared jobs in each of the prior five months. Leisure and hospitality industries added 1,500 following little movement in July. Most of the hiring was in arts, entertainment, and recreation industries (+900) and related to performing arts and spectator sports. Accommodations and food services was once again fueled by hiring in eating and drinking establishments (+600). The only other major gain this month occurred in manufacturing (+700). This sector has now added jobs in every month in 2022 and has added 7,000 jobs over the past seven months. Animal slaughtering and processing helped fuel most of the job gains this month. Job losses were slight in August and led by private education (-400) and transportation and warehousing (-200).
Annually, total nonfarm employment has now advanced by 38,400 jobs. Leisure and hospitality continued to hire and return to pre-pandemic conditions and has added 12,000 jobs over the past twelve months. Manufacturing is up 8,100 jobs with hiring being stronger in nondurable goods factories (+5,500). Trade, transportation, and utilities is up 6,800 and partially fueled by retail trade which has gained 3,900 jobs.
MEDIA ALERT: Local data for August 2022 will be posted to the IWD website on Tuesday, September 20, 2022. Statewide data for September 2022 will be released on Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 9 a.m.
|Employment and Unemployment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data|
|Civilian labor force||1,709,200||1,710,500||1,681,400||-1,300||27,800|
|Labor Force Participation Rate||67.7%||67.8%||67.0%||-0.1||0.7|
|U.S. unemployment rate||3.7%||3.5%||5.2%||0.2||-1.5|
|Nonfarm Employment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data|
|Total Nonfarm Employment||1,578,200||1,574,400||1,539,300||3,800||38,900|
|Trade, transportation and utilities||314,600||313,000||307,800||1,600||6,800|
|Professional and business services||141,200||140,800||139,800||400||1,400|
|Education and health services||226,800||226,700||225,300||100||1,500|
|Leisure and hospitality||143,000||141,500||131,000||1,500||12,000|
|(above data subject to revision)|
|Unemployment Insurance Claims for Iowa|
|% Change from|