Iowa unemployment rate climbs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa unemployment rate climbs

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DES MOINES (NEWS RELEASE) - Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 4.8 percent in January from a revised December rate of 4.4 percent, according to Iowa Workforce Development.  The statewide jobless rate stood at 3.9 percent one year ago.  Meanwhile, the U.S. jobless rate rose to 7.6 percent in January from 7.2 percent in December.  This was the highest national unemployment rate since the fall of 1992 when 11.6 million people were out of work.

"Jobless claims remain very elevated, and continue to point to large payroll losses," said Elisabeth Buck, director of Iowa Workforce Development.  "The major share of Iowa's job losses since January 2008 occurred during the final four months of the year."

The total number of working Iowans dropped to 1,592,100 in January from 1,602,900 in December.  Total employment was reported at 1,609,700 in January 2008.

The total number of unemployed in the state increased to 80,600 in January, surpassing the 80,000-mark for the first time since September 1987.  The level of unemployed was 73,700 for December, and 64,900 for January 2008.   

Total nonfarm employment edged up to 1,509,200 in January, 300 more than December, but 17,500 less than one year ago.  Unexpected gains in trade and transportation helped offset the declines in construction, government and manufacturing.

Trade and transportation added 4,000 in January, with most of the sector's increase concentrated in retail trade.  Professional and business services and education and health added 600 each.  Prior to this month's gain, professional and business services had lost 10,100 jobs since July.  Manufacturing lost 3,200 jobs this month, and construction and government followed with losses of 900 each.                                                                              

Due to the effects of the national recession, statewide nonfarm employment has lost 17,500 jobs since January 2008.  Manufacturing has lost the largest number of jobs at 11,800.  Professional and business services and construction were down 9,000 and 2,900, respectively.  Education and health proved to be the most resilient sector, adding 3,900 jobs.  Government increased by 2,200; and trade and transportation advanced by 1,500.

Online Producer: Jason Mortvedt

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