Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate edged up to 4.9 percent in August, as more Iowans continued to enter the labor force. The August rate was up from 4.8 percent in July, but down from the year ago rate of 5.3 percent. In contrast, the U.S. unemployment rate for August decreased to 7.3 percent from 7.4 percent in July because fewer people were looking for work.
The Director of Iowa Workforce Development, Teresa Wahlert says that more Iowans are entering the labor force, encouraged by the upward trend in total employment for the year. She says that Iowa’s labor force reached its highest level for the year in August at 1,655,300.
Iowa’s pool of unemployed persons increased to 80,800 in August from 79,000 in July. The comparable estimate of unemployed for August 2012 was 87,000.
The total number of working Iowans grew to 1,574,400 in August, which was up from 1,573,300 in July. The current level is 27,000 higher than one year ago.
Lyon County continued to have the lowest non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in the state in August, at 2.5 percent — down a tenth of a percent from the July rate of 2.6 percent. Holding second place for August was Mills County at 3.0 percent.
Tied for third place for lowest unemployment for August was Sioux County and Shelby County at 3.2 percent. Sioux County was at 3.4 percent in July.
O’Brien County isn’t far behind with only 3.8 percent unemployment, up a tenth of a percent from 3.7 percent in July.
And still almost a full percent lower than the state average was Osceola County with 4.0 percent unemployment, down from 4.1 percent in July.