Iowa unemployment rate falls to 3.7% in January

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 3.7% in January from the revised December rate of 3.9%.

The labor force participation rate increased slightly to 66.8% after Iowa businesses added 3,000 jobs in January. The total number of working Iowans increased by 6,900.

“These numbers show Iowa’s economic recovery is continuing to press forward,” said Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development, in a statement. “IWD’s role is to continue that momentum by getting unemployed Iowans back into the workforce as quickly as possible. Since January, more than 640 Iowans involved in our Reemployment Case Management program have found new jobs.”

The new Reemployment Case Management program, which launched in January, uses a combination of new staff and new technology to provide extra help for jobless Iowans beginning with the first week they file an unemployment claim.

The state’s jobless rate was 4.4% this time last year, while the U.S. unemployment rate increased to 4.0% in January.

Compared to last year, government is up to 7,900 jobs, mostly due to growth at the local level, according to the press release.

Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs in January (2,500) in an industry that continues to trend upward since COVID-19 quarantine efforts. Sector losses were led by professional and business services (-2,200), mostly stemming from the administrative management and waste remediation services industry.