The Iowa Department of Workforce Development announced that Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 2.4 percent in November. It was 2.9 percent a year ago. The national unemployment in November was 3.7 percent.
Hawaii, who had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation saw their unemployment rate rise to 2.4 percent making this the first time Iowa has tied for the lowest unemployment in the nation since March of 2000 when the state was tied with South Dakota and Virginia.
The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 40,600 in November from 41,200 in October. The current estimate is 8,600 lower than the November 2017 level of 49,200.
The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,648,900 in November. This figure was 1,900 higher than October and 23,300 higher than one year ago and represents the most Iowans at work in state history.
“Iowa’s November jobs report continues to reflect the powerful opportunities that exist in our state,” said Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “More Iowans are working today than at any other time in history and that presents both opportunities and challenges for our citizens. The opportunity for meaningful employment exists now more than ever for all Iowans. The challenge is building our skilled workforce at a rate that matches our growth. IowaWORKS Centers around the state can help meet both, and we do so every day. Whether you are a job seeker looking for a new career or upskilling opportunity or you are an employer needing workforce solutions, we can help. The IowaWORKS team is dedicated to helping power all possibilities.”
“This is exciting news to receive as we start to celebrate the holiday season,” Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said. “More Iowans than ever are working, and that is a reflection of the great job opportunities available in our state. These new unemployment numbers are proof that the hard work we are doing to grow our economy and our skilled workforce – efforts like Future Ready Iowa, Home Base Iowa and Registered Apprenticeship – are paying off.”
Some industries in the state, however, saw job losses.
The leisure and hospitality sector lost 1,400 jobs last month with heaviest in the food and beverage industry which has lost jobs in six of the last seven months. Construction in Iowa saw its first decline in jobs since January but still remains up 6,000 jobs compared to last year. Education, health care, and information services also saw declines of 600, 600, and 500 jobs.
The manufacturing sector saw the largest increase at 1,100 jobs added since October with the strongest gains in durable goods factories, specifically agriculture, construction, and mining machinery manufacturing shops. This continues an upward trend in 2018.
Despite continued weakness in retail, trade, transportation, and utilities gained 500 jobs in November. The IWD reports that advancement was mostly due to stronger than expected hiring in transportation industries. Smaller gains this month included professional and business services (+300) and financial activities (+200).