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Iowa July Unemployment Rate at 4.8 Percent

August 20, 2013
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

DES MOINES- Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 4.8 percent in July from 4.6 percent in June, but remained substantially below the July 2012 rate of 5.5 percent. In contrast, the U.S. unemployment rate for July dropped to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent in June.

"Despite this month's increase in the unemployment rate, nonfarm employment continued to advance at a healthy pace," said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. "Nonfarm jobs have increased by 5,000 or more for the past three months."

The statewide estimate of unemployed persons increased to 79,300 in July from 76,300 in June. The level of unemployed was reported at 89,300 one year ago.

Total employment dropped for the first time this year, falling to 1,573,200 in July from 1,577,200 in June. However, the current figure is 25,000 higher than one year ago.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Total nonfarm employment increased for the fourth consecutive month in July, adding 5,000 jobs. Both the service and goods-producing sectors added jobs this month, although the goods-producing industries were slightly hampered by a drop of 600 in manufacturing, the second loss in the last three months. Government added 2,300 jobs in July with 2,100 of the total concentrated in local government and related to education.

Construction added 1,600 jobs this month, leading all sectors in job growth. This was the third straight gain for this industry following a modest start to the year. Construction is expected to continue to add jobs due to a rise in demand for commercial and industrial buildings and the pickup in new residential housing. Trade and transportation added 1,000 jobs, which was fueled by stronger-than-expected hiring in the retail sector (+1,300). Within retail trade, hiring was particularly strong in food and beverage stores. The information services sector posted its third monthly gain, adding 600 jobs in July. Job losses were light this month, and were led by manufacturing (-600), which has experienced a weaker hiring pattern in recent months. Other services decreased by 200 jobs, and financial activities trimmed 100 jobs due to cutbacks in rental and leasing. However, within financial activities, finance and insurance added 200 jobs in Iowa.

Nonfarm employment in Iowa continues to expand compared to the July 2012 level. Professional and business services led all super sectors in terms of year-over-year growth (+5,100). This marks the first time since September that any industry other than manufacturing has led the annual growth. Manufacturing dropped to second place (+4,800) and tied with construction, which has shown rapid expansion in the past few months. Despite a slight loss this month, finance and insurance remains markedly up compared to last year (+3,500). The only losses were reflected in government (-1,400) and other services (-300).



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