Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 3.7 percent in January from the revised December rate of 3.9 percent. The state’s jobless rate was 4.4 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate in January increased to 4.0 percent.
The total number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 62,700 in January, down 2,200 from revised December data. Iowa businesses added 3,000 jobs in January, and the total number of working Iowans increased by 6,900 to 1,617,700. The labor force participation rate increased slightly to 66.8 percent.
“These numbers show Iowa’s economic recovery is continuing to press forward,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “IWD’s role is to continue that momentum by getting unemployed Iowans back into the workforce as quickly as possible. Since January, more than 640 Iowans involved in our Reemployment Case Management program have found new jobs. We will work as hard as possible to keep that number growing.”
The last five years of monthly labor force data (2017-2021) recently were revised as required by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. This “benchmarking” is the periodic process of re-estimating statistics as more complete data becomes available, such as updated data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Prior-year estimates for the Current Employment Statistics (CES) and Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) programs – key statistical measures of employment – are benchmarked annually. Revised data are incorporated in January employment statistics when they are released each March.
Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment
Iowa businesses added 3,000 jobs in January, lifting total nonfarm employment to 1,556,300. Much of the increase stemmed from those industries involved in goods production, although service industries had some gains, particularly those related to accommodations and eating and drinking establishments. Private industries advanced by 1,600 jobs, and government added 1,400 (with 800 jobs being in local government). Compared to last year, government is now up 7,900 jobs, mostly due to growth at the local level.
Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs in January (+2,500). Aside from a mild loss of 800 jobs in December, this industry has generally trended up steadily since COVID quarantine efforts. Most gains were within accommodations and food services, which are up 6,500 jobs since August. Manufacturing added 1,700 jobs, with the bulk of gains in nondurable goods production (+1,100) and many related to food production and animal slaughtering and processing. Construction gained 600 jobs and now has added 2,800 jobs over the past three months. Sector losses were led by professional and business services (-2,200), mostly stemming from the administrative management and waste remediation services industry. This sector has been sluggish for several months and trails last year’s mark by 2,700 jobs. Other services lost 1,000 jobs, mostly as a result of cutbacks in personal care industries. Smaller losses included trade, transportation, and utilities (-700) and information (-200).
Annually, total nonfarm employment is up 31,100 jobs (+2.0 percent). Leisure and hospitality continue to restaff and lead all sectors with 16,500 jobs, most of which (+14,000) are within accommodations and food services. Manufacturing has added 4,200 jobs. Gains have been in both durable and nondurable goods workshops. Construction has shown some recent signs of hiring and is now up 2,800 jobs. Annual job losses have been led by health care and social assistance (-3,200). This sector has been slower to rehire to pre-pandemic levels and has shed 800 jobs in the last two months. Finance and insurance have been slowly reducing staff levels and are down 900 jobs compared to last January.
|Employment and Unemployment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data|
|Civilian labor force||1,680,400||1,675,600||1,663,600||4,800||16,800|
|Labor Force Participation Rate||66.8%||66.7%||66.5%||0.1||0.3|
|U.S. unemployment rate||4.0%||3.9%||6.4%||0.1||-2.4|
|Nonfarm Employment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data|
|Total Nonfarm Employment||1,556,300||1,553,300||1,525,200||3,000||31,100|
|Trade, transportation and utilities||311,700||312,400||308,300||-700||3,400|
|Professional and business services||138,200||140,400||139,400||-2,200||-1,200|
|Education and health services||224,100||223,700||227,500||400||-3,400|
|Leisure and hospitality||137,500||135,000||121,000||2,500||16,500|
|(above data subject to revision)|
|Unemployment Insurance Claims for Iowa|
|% Change from|