State Unemployment Rate Follows Nationwide September Decline
By Dave DeWitte, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Iowa's jobless rate declined to 5.2 percent in September, as the number of unemployed Iowans fell by the greatest number so far in 2012.
The 0.3 percent decline brought the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate back to levels visited in June, but Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert was cautious in prepared remarks.
"The employment numbers continued to depict a slow and uneven recovery," Wahlert said.
The number of unemployed Iowans fell by 3,900, the largest number this year, to total 85,800. There was little change in the total of working Iowans, which edged down 400, to 1,552,200.
The biggest job gains for September were in construction. The construction sector ended a string of five consecutive monthly losses, adding 2,200 jobs.
The professional and business services sector added 1,300 jobs, after two consecutive monthly losses.
Gains in construction and professional services were partly offset by a loss of 400 jobs in wholesale trade, a loss of 600 jobs in transportation, and a drop of 600 jobs in manufacturing.
Iowa Workforce Development described a loss of 500 jobs in education and health services due to health care job reductions as "unexpected."
Nonfarm employment in Iowa is up 11,500 from September 2011, when the jobless rate stood at 5.9 percent.
Iowa's unemployment rate for September compared to a national unemployment rate of 7.8 percent. The national jobless rate also was down 0.3 percent from August.
Election analysis noted that unemployment dropped in seven key swing states including Iowa. They dropped in Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and North Carolina.
In two other swing states, New Hampshire and Virginia, unemployment rates were unchanged.
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