Iowa JobWatch: Public job losses hit Iowa performance

Nonfarm jobs fall by 4,200; jobless rate also drops, to 5.2 Percent

IOWA CITY, Iowa (Oct. 19, 2012) — Iowa Workforce Development today reported that the state unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent in September from 5.5 percent in August and 5.9 percent in September 2011. Nonfarm jobs declined by 4,200 during the month, while remaining 11,500 up over the previous 12 months. The nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project released the following statement from executive director David Osterberg about the latest numbers:

“Before anyone gets too excited about the drop in the unemployment rate, we need to keep an eye on the payroll job numbers. They dropped by 4,200 in September, part of a choppy performance over the last year — seven months up, five months down, with no more than two consecutive months in the same direction. The biggest hit to job numbers came in government jobs, a loss of 3,900 for the month, which once again illustrates the impact of public employment on the state economy. One in every six Iowa jobs is with local, state or federal government, providing services to all Iowans and putting money to work in the state and local economy.

“During 2012, the overall monthly average pace is a gain of 1,100 jobs per month. That’s better than we saw in any of the last five years, but make no mistake, it is slow growth especially when compared to what were considered ‘boom’ years in the 1990s.

“The long-term trend remains positive. For September 2012, jobs were 11,500 ahead of the previous September.”

Source: Iowa Workforce Development, Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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