Iowa Adds 5,600 Jobs in June, Unemployment Remains at 2.4 Percent

Governor Kim Reynolds

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 2.4 percent in June. The state’s jobless rate was 2.5 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate increased slightly to 3.7 percent in June.

“Iowa continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country as a result of lower taxes, less regulations, and a strong emphasis on pro-growth policies,” said Governor Kim Reynolds. “Our strong labor market has allowed us to partner with our employers to train, skill, and re-skill our state’s workforce in order to expand opportunities for Iowans.”

The number of unemployed Iowans increased to 41,400 in June from 40,700 in May. The current estimate is 800 lower than the year ago level of 42,200. The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,676,700 in June. This figure was 3,400 higher than May and 33,400 higher than one year ago.

“June marks a milestone for Iowa’s historically low unemployment rate, making this the twelfth consecutive month of 2.4 percent unemployment.  Additionally, Iowa experienced positive growth with 5,600 new jobs,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development. “Iowans can now take advantage of the Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship or Grant to increase their skill level and earning potential.  Given our sustained low unemployment, it’s important we attract skilled workers to our state through programs like Home Base Iowa and This is Iowa and ensure all Iowans have equal access to all of the opportunity in our state.”

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Iowa establishments expanded their payrolls for the third consecutive month in June, adding 5,600 jobs. Despite a weak first quarter which saw jobs shed from the state’s payrolls, firms have shown an increasing willingness to hire and prepare for increased commerce over the past three months. Goods-producing sectors have once again outpaced the growth of service industries and are up 6,200 jobs in the second quarter. Overall, private industries gained 3,800 jobs this month. Government added 1,800 jobs due to larger-than-expected seasonal hiring for summer programs and now rests 1,500 jobs higher than last year’s level.

Manufacturing led all sectors in growth in June with 2,000 jobs added. The manufacturing sector has now expanded in three consecutive months. Job gains have been heaviest in durable goods factories which have increased by 1,900 jobs since March. Nondurable goods factories added 500 jobs in June. The other services sector advanced by 1,600 jobs following little movement last month. Construction ended the second quarter with a gain of 900 jobs and in total grew by 3,500 jobs over the past three months. This is a solid improvement following losses over the past two quarters for this sector. On the other hand, professional and business services led all sectors with 1,300 jobs shed in June. A majority of these losses were in administrative support and waste management services (-700). This sector has shown unusual weakness in 2019 with jobs being added in only one month thus far (April) and is little changed versus one year ago (+200). Financial activities shed jobs for the third time in four months (-500) and is now down versus last year’s level (-600).

Annually, businesses have added 10,400 jobs over the past twelve months. Manufacturing continues to fuel job growth (+8,100) with hiring being strong in both durable and nondurable goods shops. The next closest sector for job growth is other services (+2,000), followed by education and health services (+1,200). Losses are limited to just three sectors and are highest in information services (-1,300). Trade, transportation, and utilities trails last year’s mark due to cutbacks in retail and is down 1,200 jobs overall. Financial services has trended down recently and is 600 jobs below last June.