Iowa Jobless Rate Falls to 4.7 Percent

By George Ford, Reporter

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By Richard Pratt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Iowa's unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent in April from 4.9 percent in March, according to Iowa Workforce Development on Friday and the number of Iowans working rose last month.

An estimated 77,800 Iowans were unemployed in April, down from 80,500 in March. Both figures represent a sharp decline from the 86,200 jobless in April 2012.

The total number of working Iowans increased for the seventh consecutive month to 1,570,900 in April, climbing from 1,562,100 in March. The level stood at 1,557,900 in April 2012.

Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development, said the state’s unemployment rate in April was the lowest since December 2008.

“The statewide labor force also grew, a sign that individuals are feeling more confident about the job market," Wahlert said.

Education and health services gained 1,700 jobs in April, the most of any sector. Health services contributed most of the gain with 1,400 jobs. Financial services added 1,600 jobs, bringing the sector’s employment to an all-time high of 104,300.

Trade and transportation increased by 1,400, reversing a two-month slide. Retail trade was responsible for the majority of the gains with 800 jobs, although both wholesale trade and transportation also were positive.

On the flip side, construction lost the most jobs for the second straight month with a decline of 2,500. Government pared a total of 1,700 jobs, but many of the losses stemmed from an early shedding of seasonal workers as opposed to budget issues.

Professional and business services also experienced its second consecutive monthly loss with a drop of 1,300 jobs, following a strong start to the new year.

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