Iowa's unemployment up; still better than nation - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa's unemployment up; still better than nation

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Iowa has been fairly insulated from the wild swings that the east coast and west coast states have seen.

Waterloo's unemployment rate sits at 5.3% for January while Cedar Falls had the state's lowest rate at 2.9%.

We spoke with two of Black Hawk County's largest employers who are hiring right now.

GMAC Mortgage employs 740 people at its Waterloo offices.

That number will be closer to 1000 by the end of the year with additions in collections, customer service and loss mitigation.

"The resumes we've been seeing are really strong. What's interesting is people outside the area are looking to move here. It's a better place to live and there are job opportunities in this case," says GMAC Mortgage Human Resources Manager Steve Sesterhenn.

The company's advertising on its front lawn.

A few miles away in Cedar Falls, Target is getting ready to open its food distribution center.

It's looking for about 200 workers as well.

"We're extremely impressed with our team members and we feel we have a great pool to choose from. The flow has been steady," says Target Distribution Center General Manager Zach Shimp.

Both companies say they see a wide range of types of candidates.

They say they're both attractive employers because people can work nights or weekends if they want.

At GMAC, the mortgage crisis has actually helped its operation.

"One great thing about us is we're helping people stay in their homes. Our main interest is not owning property, it's working to modify loans and doing work we need from a collection and loss mitigation standpoint," said Sesterhenn.

GMAC Mortgage is making a 40% increase in its workforce nationwide.

Target expects to open that new distribution center this summer.

To apply online at Target, click here.

To apply online at GMAC Mortgage, click here.

Click here to read Iowa's entire unemployment report.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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