Iowa Jobless Rate Unchanged in June

By George C. Ford, The Gazette

Iowa’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.4 percent in June, making it one of 14 states where the jobless figure stayed the same last month.

Iowa Workforce Development on Friday said the number of unemployed Iowans increased to 74,500 in June from 73,900 in May. That was 6,000 lower than 80,500 in June 2013.

The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,624,600 in June from 1,624,100 in May. That figure was 32,100 higher than a year ago.

“Iowa’s economic expansion increased in June,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “While Iowa’s unemployment rate remained unchanged from May, the second quarter proved prosperous as Iowa’s nonfarm employment gained 10,800 jobs over the past three months, more than offsetting the sluggish first quarter start.”

Iowa nonfarm employment totaled 1,549,600 jobs in June, up 3,100 from May. The increase was primarily due to job gains in the service sectors. Government added jobs at the local (3,100) and state (1,200) levels, more than offsetting a decline of 1,200 jobs in private services.

Other services added the most jobs in June with 900, due to hiring in membership organizations coupled with repair and maintenance shops. Leisure and hospitality also grew by 800 jobs in June, primarily the result of gains in recreational industries.

Employment losses were heaviest in private education industries where 1,700 jobs were lost, generally due to schools beginning the summer break early. Finance decreased for the first time since February with a loss of 600 positions, but still remains 100 jobs above last year at this time.

Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent in June from 6.3 percent in May. Unemployment rates dropped in 22 U.S. states last month as the nation at large posted a fifth straight month of solid hiring.

Employers added 288,000 jobs in June, capping the healthiest stretch of hiring in 15 years.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; george.ford@sourcemedia.net

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