Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Drops to an 18-year-low

Updated : June 12th, 2019

Iowa’s unemployment rate drops to 18 year low

Iowa’s unemployment has dropped to 2.5 percent and this makes it the second lowest in the country after Hawaii. But 50 percent of Iowa graduates still prefer to move out of the state once they are done with college. Iowa’s unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest percentage since 2000.

There is a low unemployment rate for Iowa as compared to the rest of the United States. Also, the job openings in the state are greater than the number of workers seeking jobs.

Iowa has a historically low unemployment rate. Whether it’s good or bad is based on whether you’re a firm or a worker. If you’re a worker and there is a lot of jobs then it is always a good thing. But for a firm, it could be difficult for them to find the right candidates to match these jobs.

Economy and Employment

Iowa’s economy has done better than most states and unemployment remained low during the Great Recession. The Federal Reserve for Economic Data shows that there was a recession in 2007 and Iowa’s unemployment was approximately 6.7. This is lower than the US unemployment rate which is approximately 10 percent. Also, in most cases, vehicles can be expensive for most people that work in the rural economy.

There are a large number of skilled workers that qualify to work on certain types of jobs and may feel the need to move in order to be in places where their skill sets are in demand.

Based on the effect of the low unemployment rate, professional organizations are coming in and engaging with students through classroom level activities to try to build relationships with them.

Iowa Students and Trends

Iowa students and trends

Research conducted by the UI during the academic year 2016-17 was 50.25 percent of graduate students employed in Iowa and 23.07 percent employed in Illinois. There are several students that come from different states and live in Iowa and find opportunities and this encourages them to stay in the state. Iowa students prefer to move out and the most prominent reason is to live in a metropolitan area. Most people prefer going to states with a lower cost of living like Texas. Also, there are areas that attract people with certain interests. It’s not since May of 2000 that Iowa’s unemployment has been this low. Iowans are coming together to help more Iowans find work and get upskilled based on their community of 2,100 and business leaders.

While the number of unemployed Iowans has decreased to 44,000 in July from 44,900 in June, this is a positive trend. The current estimate shows are lower by 8,100 than a year ago where the level of 52,100. The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,640,300 in July which is 5200 higher than June and 13200 higher than a year ago.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

The total nonfarm employment decreased by 700 in July which is lowering the total down to 1,591,500 jobs in the market. Accounting to this would mean that there is a small loss is the third of 2018 which follows the surge in hiring over the last two months. Goods-producing sectors have together added jobs for the sixth-consecutive month stretching back to January. At the same time service industries shed 2,300 jobs following large gains over the past two months. At the same time, private industries as a whole experienced no change since June while the government shed 700 jobs which is up against the 400 jobs annually.

The retail industry shed the most jobs in July which is about 3000 and was responsible for all of the loss in the trade and transportation sector which lost 2,100 jobs. This decline was expected given the recent announcements of stores closing around the state. For the most part, retail has trended down since the beginning of 2017. This trend should continue through 2018 as online sales continue to gain popularity around the nation.

In the education services and healthcare sector, this was the only major loss this month due to small losses in each segment. This sector is expected to trend back up during the second half of the year. Similarly, the manufacturing sector had the biggest job gains with an increase of 1,300 jobs and this would follow another moderate gain of 900 in June.

Financial services added 600 jobs in July and it continues to expand its footprint in the Iowa economy. Similarly, there were 600 jobs gained in the leisure and hospitality industry. This sector has been increasing staffing levels since the fourth quarter of last year and gains have been the heaviest within the food services and accommodations. Construction has seen a small gain of 300 jobs this month which is the sixth consecutive month of growth.

There have been 19,000 jobs gained since last July and most of these gains occurred within Iowa’s factories which accounts for 11,300 jobs. The durable goods shops have outpaced the non-durable goods counterparts in terms of growth which is 7900 jobs versus 3400 jobs. Construction industries are up by 3,500 jobs annually following job gains which stretched back to January. Additionally, the finance sector has continued to fair well by adding 2900 jobs. While the private sector has lost 2600 jobs and so is the trade and transportation industry by 2200 jobs.

Still Looking for a Job? –

If you are unemployed then you should use the resources and research on to connect with your local unemployment offices and search your unemployment claim. You can determine how to go about your claim based on the application process, eligibility calculator, job search requirements and more. You can find out what are the type of unemployment benefits that you can claim based on the state. Here you can choose your state and connect with an office close to you.

  1. I was permanently severanced from my job due to a Co. Reorg & received my last severance pay last week. I called UE & was told that I should now do my application online since I will no longer be getting funds & still without a job & that this coming Sunday regardless of knowing if I will or will not get benefits yet that I should still file a weekly claim in case of UE back pay.
    So my question is, do I still have to report 4 jobs applied to within this week, even if I do not know if I will be approved/denied for benefits until possibly next week anyway?

    1. Lynda,

      You should continue to report the job applications as long as you’ve been asked to do so. There will be a “Waiting Period” and the first payment will take about 7-10 days after which they’ll flow much quicker. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  2. I tried to transfer from one state to another. When I left Montana I was told there would be no problem transferring. When I arrived in North Carolina I had trouble reaching the area manager by phone. When he finally called me back he said to meet him for lunch to discuss when and where I would be working. He did not show up for lunch. Then he never returned any of my calls. I went PA to visit a friend a few weeks later and tried there. I met with the hiring manager and was told there should not be a problem doing the transfer since I was still in the system. I called the store a few times and they said it was still pending. Then I was terminated without even a phone call. Am I eligible for unemployment and if so do I file in Montana or North Carolina. I still have a Montana drivers license but I am living in NC.

    1. Stacey,

      As long as you were unemployed involuntarily, you should be able to claim UI benefits. Please consider applying.

  3. I have worked for 32+ years and recently have become unable to work due to health reasons, so I have had to resign from my job. I have contacted SS and will be able to apply for disability but it will take awhile to process. Can I apply for unemployment benefits? I live in WV.

    1. Sandra,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for more.

  4. I had to quit my job at Walmart in Fairmont West Virginia and moved back to my home state ky, I’ve got a son with drug problems and 3 older sisters that are not doing so well in health cause of their age. I didn’t understand about the transfer part they had at Walmart that I could put a date when I could start back because of my car problems I thought when I left I had to go in like in s few days, I’ve applied here at Walmart in Winchester ky 40391 two times already plus dollar store, speedway, truck stop, bp, a few other places it’s been going on 7 months without a job I live with my son and its getting harder on him paying rent and utilities and food, not to mention our personal hygiene stuff I really need help I have no income coming in to help him and his wife out I get foodstamps and Medicaid I was praying I could qualify for unemployment PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Vicky,

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for further clarification.

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