Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: October 20, 2015
Contact: Courtney Greene
Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.6 Percent in September
DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased slightly to 3.6 percent in September from 3.7 percent in August. The state’s jobless rate was 4.3 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 5.1 percent in September.
"The unemployment rate continues to decline and reflects numbers not seen since 2006, this is good news for Iowans across the state,” said Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “A record number of job openings exist in various industry sectors and we will continue to do all that we can help Iowans find those opportunities.”
The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 61,300 in September from 62,500 in August. The current estimate is 12,700 lower than the year ago level of 74,000.
The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,640,200 in September. This figure was 2,600 higher than August, and 2,700 higher than one year ago.
Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment
Iowa’s nonfarm employment decreased by 2,100 jobs in September and now rests at 1,573,000. This month’s drop is the second consecutive loss for the state and fueled by a drop of 1,800 jobs in the private sector. Government was down a slight 300 jobs as seasonal summer employment losses were mitigated by early hiring at the state’s universities. Overall, government has added 1,200 jobs annually due to state government education hiring, while private industries remain up 22,000 jobs despite recent losses.
Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs in September (+1,500) and was bolstered by growth in accommodations and food services (+500). These industries have steadily trended up since 2010. Education and health care services also added jobs this month (+600), as did professional and business services (+200). Job losses in September were largest in manufacturing (-2,000) and split between durable and nondurable goods factories. This month’s drop marks the second consecutive loss for durable goods manufacturing, while prior to this month, nondurable goods factories actually added jobs in eight of the last nine months and remain up 1,800 jobs annually. Construction pared seasonal employment early this year (-1,500), while trade and transportation shed jobs primarily in wholesale trade (-600).
Since last September, Iowa’s total nonfarm is up 23,700 jobs (+1.5 percent). The largest gains have been in education and health services (+5,500) with both health care and private educational services advancing. Trade and transportation is second in terms of jobs growth (+4,700) thanks to hiring in both wholesale and retail trade. Construction has gained jobs (+4,600) despite the early seasonal paring. The only sectors to trail last year’s level are manufacturing (-1,300) and information services (-1,000).
MEDIA ALERT: An audio cut of comments about Iowa’s labor market situation is available by calling (515) 281-6057. Statewide data for October will be released on Friday, November 20, 2015. Local data for October will be posted to the IWD website on Tuesday, November 24, 2015.