Iowa unemployment falls to 5.4 percent - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa unemployment falls to 5.4 percent

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 5.4% in January, offering further evidence that the recovery strengthened during fourth quarter 2011.  The statewide jobless rate was reported at 5.6% in December, and at 6.1% in January 2011.  Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.3% in January.

"The Iowa economy is improving," said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development.  "The state's unemployment rate has been tracking downward rapidly since fourth quarter 2011, as the recovery picked up speed.  Newly revised figures for 2011 show that the statewide unemployment rate averaged 5.9% in 2011, which was the sixth-lowest rate in the nation."     
 
The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,576,300 in January from 1,567,500 one year ago.  The newly revised labor force series for 2011 shows that total employment for the state has been gradually increasing since August 2011.
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