Unemployment Second Lowest in the Nation

For the second consecutive month, Iowa has the second lowest unemployment rate in the nation, according to new numbers released by Iowa Workforce Development Friday. Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped to 2.5 percent in August. Having previously tied for second with North Dakota, Iowa now stands alone with the second lowest rate.


“This is a great time to be an Iowan,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said. “Companies are growing, the economy is strong and there are literally thousands of rewarding job opportunities available. But the biggest barrier to economic growth right now is a shortage of skilled workers. Iowa is addressing that issue through the Future Ready Iowa Initiative.”


The Future Ready Iowa Initiative has the goal of 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce having education or training beyond high school by 2025. The initiative connects Iowans to high-demand jobs and opportunities in the state through education and training.


The first of 18 Future Ready Iowa Regional Summits is being held today in Muscatine. Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, along with nearly 140 other Iowans, will participate. The summits will focus on increasing opportunities for collaboration to address Iowa’s skilled worker shortage.


Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend encourages Iowans to engage in the summits.


“As the unemployment rate continues to drop, Iowans are coming together to find ways to help more Iowans get upskilled as demonstrated by the more than 1,900 community and business leaders who are attending summits,” Dir. Townsend said. “The response to the summits has been overwhelming, and we are working to ensure that as many Iowans as possible will be able to attend.”


While several of the early summits are already at capacity with wait lists, there are still slots available in CentervilleCedar ValleyCrestonElkaderFort DodgeDes MoinesOttumwa and Pella.