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Iowa’s unemployment rate at 3%

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(The Center Square) – Iowa’s latest jobs report shows mixed results as the unemployment rate remained the same and the labor force participation rate declined slightly.

The unemployment rate in January is 3%, the same as the revised December rate. Just over 1,000 Iowans joined the unemployment rolls in December, bringing the total number of jobless Iowans to 50,900, according to the report.

”January’s report was mixed. On the positive side, it shows the total number of nonfarm jobs remains 12,700 above last year’s total, even after retail businesses pared 2,000 jobs following the holidays,” said Beth Townsend, executive director of Iowa Workforce Development. “We also saw 2,300 people leave the workforce voluntarily in January. Given we have over 58,000 job openings currently in Iowa, it is important we retain the Iowans in the workforce and recruit those who have dropped out.”

The labor force participation rate declined slightly from 67.5% to 67.3%, according to the report.

Construction jobs have reached record levels, adding 3,200 since October, including 600 in January. Most of January’s layoffs were in the retail trade industry, with 2,000. Other industries that lost jobs are the other services category and professional, scientific and technical services industries, which both shed 600 jobs, according to the report.

IWD has a new Mobile Workforce Center traveling across the state this month to help Iowans in their job search. The bus has 10 computer workstations and two 40-inch monitors.

“There are Iowans out there who simply are not aware of the vast services and programs that are available at our IowaWORKS centers,” said Linda Rouse, IWD’s Division Administrator overseeing IowaWORKS offices around the state. “Our IowaWORKS Mobile Workforce Center will be deployed to communities that do not have a brick-and-mortar IowaWORKS center. This is a great resource to reach out and serve Iowans where they are.”

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