Unemployment Up Again, Still Low In Northwest Iowa

Northwest Iowa — Employment news has been mixed recently. While our area of northwest Iowa continues to have some of the lowest unemployment in the state, for the third consecutive month, Iowa’s unemployment rate as a whole has increased.
Nearly 73-thousand Iowans were unemployed in August. Officials calculate four-point-two percent of the Iowa workforce was OUT of work last month. Courtney Greene, a spokeswoman for Iowa Workforce Development, says Iowa’s August jobless rate was a tenth-of-a-percent higher than it was in July.

About six-hundred Iowans who work in professional and business services were laid off in August.

There were five-thousand fewer manufacturing jobs in Iowa THIS August compared to August of 2015. Construction, meanwhile, is a booming sector. Last month, more than 91-thousand people were working on construction sites in Iowa. That’s 14-thousand more than in August of last year.

Greene says there been a slight increase in the number of working Iowans.

More than 1,642,000 Iowans were in the workforce in August. Iowa’s unemployment rate remains BELOW the national rate. However, Iowa’s unemployment rate is now eight-tenths of a percent HIGHER than it was a year ago.

In northwest Iowa in August, Lyon and Sioux Counties had the first and second lowest unemployment in the state at 2.3 and 2.4 percent, respectively. That’s up a tenth of a percent in Lyon County from 2.2 percent in July and down two tenths in Sioux County from 2.6 percent in July. O’Brien County’s August unemployment is unchanged from July at 3.0 percent, and Osceola County is up a tenth of a percent from July at 3.1 percent.

When compared with August of last year, unemployment is up in every county in our area. Lyon County is up six tenths from 1.7 percent in August of 2015. Sioux County is up three tenths from a year ago when it was 2.1 percent. Unemployment in both O’Brien and Osceola counties was up a half a percent. O’Brien’s was 2.5 in 2015, and Osceola’s was 2.6.

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