Statewide Jobless Rate Below 5 Percent for First Time in 4 Years

By Dave DeWitte, Reporter

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By Liz Blood

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa's unemployment rate dipped to 4.9 percent in November, a 0.2 percent change that brought it below 5 percent for the first time since December 2008.

Manufacturing added 1,000 jobs, more than any other sector, according to Iowa Workforce Development. It was the second consecutive month of growth in manufacturing jobs after a string of losses in 4 out of 5 months going beginning in May 2012.

The number of working Iowans rose 4,600 and the number of unemployed Iowans dropped 3,200 from October's level. Total nonfarm employment in Iowa is 12,300 higher than one year ago.

Health care services fueled a gain of 700 jobs in education and health services. Retail hiring of 1,500 resulted in a gain of 400 jobs in the trade and transportation sector.

The 4.9 percent November unemployment rate compared to a statewide rate of 5.6 percent in November 2011. The national unemployment rate of 7.7 percent for November was also a decline of 0.2 percent from October's 7.9 percent rate.

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