Iowa's Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.0 Percent in June

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: July 17, 2020
Contact: Molly Elder
Telephone: 515-725-4116

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Iowa's Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.0 Percent in June

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 8.0 percent in June. The state’s jobless rate was 2.7 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 11.1 percent in June.

“The decline in the unemployment rate by 2 percentage points in June is welcome news after several months of historically high rates of unemployment. Moving out of double-digit unemployment is a tremendously positive good sign for our economic recovery as businesses reopen and Iowans return to work,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development. “Iowa employers are hiring and we have over 50,000 job postings at Additionally, employers can stay up-to-date on how to facilitate a safe work environment by following the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, which can be found on our website:”                                                                           

The number of unemployed Iowans declined to 131,200 in June from 173,000 in May. The current estimate is 84,000 higher than the year ago level of 47,200. 

The total number of working Iowans dropped to 1,508,300 in June. This figure was 12,900 less than May and 179,800 lower than one year ago. 

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Total nonfarm employment surged ahead by 50,200 jobs in June, helping erase some of layoffs caused by efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). While this gain is tremendous, the state still has much ground to make up to return to pre-quarantine levels. Furthermore, not all segments of the economy are truly open and operating as usual. Most segments of the state’s economy advanced in June. Private industries were fueled by services and added 43,500 jobs and government gained 6,700 jobs at the state level. Overall, Iowa trails last June’s mark by 117,700 jobs (-7.4 percent). Almost a third of these annual losses are within the leisure and hospitality sector (30.8 percent).

Accommodations and food services took a step towards normalcy in June with 18,800 jobs increased versus May. Over the past two months, this sector has recovered almost half of the jobs pared due to social distancing efforts. Overall, leisure and hospitality industries gained 23,000 jobs in June when recreational activities are added. Education and health care rose by 8,900 jobs mostly due to hiring within private education. Health care and social assistance expanded payrolls this month (+3,300), but has been hampered by the halting of non-essential medical procedures and social programs, leading to a loss of 11,700 jobs since February. One of the biggest bright spots thus far has been retail trade, which advanced by 6,700 jobs in June alone. This sector has been fueled by strong demand within food and beverage stores along with general merchandise establishments, both of which have added jobs versus last year and have helped offset structural losses in most other segments of retail trade. Manufacturing gained 3,000 jobs in June due to hiring in non-durable goods factories. Conversely, losses this month were led by construction (-2,200) which saw very little new activity in June and has trended down since February. Financial activities pared jobs for the third consecutive month and was down 600 in June.

Compared to last June, leisure and hospitality has shed 36,200 jobs (-25.1 percent). This loss should fade some as firms begin reopening as the year progresses. This sector suspended approximately half of all jobs in April and about half of the laid off workers have returned to work. Education and health care trails by 14,300 and professional and business services is down by 12,400 jobs.

MEDIA ALERT:  Local data for June 2020 will be posted to the IWD website on Tuesday, July 21, 2020.  Statewide data for July 2020 will be released on Friday, August 21, 2020.

Employment and Unemployment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data
        Change from
  June May June May June
  2020 2020 2019 2020 2019
Civilian labor force 1,639,400 1,694,100 1,735,300 -54,700 -95,900
Unemployment 131,200 173,000 47,200 -41,800 84,000
Unemployment rate 8.0% 10.2% 2.7% -2.2 5.3
Employment 1,508,300 1,521,200 1,688,100 -12,900 -179,800
U.S. unemployment rate 11.1% 13.3% 3.7% -2.2 7.4
Nonfarm Employment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data
Total Nonfarm Employment 1,464,800 1,414,600 1,582,500 50,200 -117,700
Mining 2,100 2,200 2,400 -100 -300
Construction 69,100 71,300 78,100 -2,200 -9,000
Manufacturing 218,200 215,200 226,700 3,000 -8,500
Trade, transportation and utilities 300,300 293,700 309,400 6,600 -9,100
Information 19,700 19,700 21,300 0 -1,600
Financial activities 107,000 107,600 110,000 -600 -3,000
Professional and business services 127,100 124,900 139,500 2,200 -12,400
Education and health services 220,600 211,700 234,900 8,900 -14,300
Leisure and hospitality 107,800 84,800 144,000 23,000 -36,200
Other services 52,700 50,000 58,300 2,700 -5,600
Government 240,200 233,500 257,900 6,700 -17,700
 (above data subject to revision)          


Unemployment Insurance Claims for Iowa
        % Change from
  June May June May June
  2020 2020 2019 2020 2019
Initial claims 39,218 53,242 8,759 -26.3% 347.7%
Continued claims          
     Number of claimants 169,828 204,355 17,647 -16.9% 862.4%
     Weeks paid 618,410 713,174 54,285 -13.3% 1039.2%
     Amount paid $177,710,929 $220,645,934 $20,421,079 -19.5% 770.2%