Iowa’s July unemployment rate drops 0.1% to 2.5%

(ABC 6 News) – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 2.5 percent in July, down from 2.6 percent in June and 4.4 percent one year ago, according to data released by Iowa Workforce Development.

The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 43,300 in July from 43,900 in June. The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,667,200 in July. This figure is 1,800 higher than June and 58,600 higher than one year ago.

Overall, the state’s labor force participation rate remained at 67.8 percent in July, despite 1,400 Iowans rejoining the labor force. Iowa added a total of 3,800 jobs.

“July’s good news shows that, despite current national economic challenges, Iowa’s economy continues its positive direction,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “We are helping workers find new career pathways, and we remain laser focused on reemployment so we can help every Iowan find the right job and every employer find a qualified workforce.”

Iowa total nonfarm payroll employment advanced by 3,800 jobs in July. This monthly gain was the fourth consecutive increase and was largely due to service industries bolstering payrolls, particularly within professional and business services and health care. While private services again took a step forward this month (+3,100), government also added jobs primarily at the local level and related to temporary summer programs (+700). Following the gain, government now stands 6,100 above last year’s mark while the state is up 33,900 jobs.

Health care and social assistance added the most jobs of any sector in July, gaining 1,300 jobs from June. This sector has been slow to recover since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but growth has been evident in 2022 with 2,300 jobs gained this year. Administrative support, waste management, and remediation industries added 1,000 jobs in July. Much of this increase was fueled by hiring of seasonal staff to help with services to buildings and dwellings, specifically landscaping. Manufacturing added jobs this month (+800) with gains in both durable and nondurable goods factories. This sector continues to trend upward and has added 6,700 jobs in 2022 thus far.

Conversely, job losses were most evident in retail trade in July (-800), particularly for miscellaneous store retailers. This decline now marks the fifth straight loss with 3,900 jobs pared during that span. All other losses were sparse in July with small drops in construction (-300), financial activities (-200), and leisure and hospitality (-200).

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