Iowa unemployment rate falls in April

ECONOMY

Construction gains most jobs, factories unchanged

By George C. Ford, The Gazette

Iowa’s unemployment rate dipped to 4.3 percent in April from a revised 4.5 percent in March, primarily due to more private sector hiring.

Iowa Workforce Development on Friday reported that employers added 5,600 jobs in April, bringing the state’s nonfarm employment to a record 1,544,400 residents.

“Total employment surpassed the previous month’s record, reaching an all-time high of 1,621,300,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development.

The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,621,300 in April from 1,615,300 in March. The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to an estimated 73,700 in April from 75,800 in March — 3,900 lower than the year ago level of 77,600.

The goods-producing sector added 3,100 jobs and private services added 2,500. Government employment was unchanged, as state government losses were offset by minor increases at the federal and local levels.

Construction added the most jobs in April — 3,100. Although large, the April gain was somewhat expected given the tepid start to the year, and the unusually weak winter for construction.

Trade and transportation also rebounded this month, adding 2,500 jobs, due to gains in transportation and warehousing (+1,200), retail (+800), and wholesale trade (+500). While trade and transportation started the new year off slowly, but April’s gain helps put the sector near record highs attained last year.

Job losses in April were light and included leisure and hospitality (-600), information (-500), financial activities (-100), and education and health services (-100).

The national unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent in April from 6.7 percent in March.

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

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