Unemployment at 2.8 percent in April

DES MOINES -- Iowa?s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 2.8 percent in April. The state?s jobless rate was 3.3 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent in April.

The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 47,000 in April from 47,300 in March. The current estimate is 7,700 lower than the year ago level of 54,700.

The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,627,200 in April. This figure was 1,000 higher than March and 1,000 higher than one year ago.


Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment

Iowa establishments scaled back staffing levels slightly in April, lowering total nonfarm employment down to 1,582,100 jobs. In total, 1,300 jobs were shed. All of the monthly losses were from private sectors as government added 400 jobs in April and is up 400 jobs annually.

Wholesale trade shed 1,100 jobs in April to lead all sectors. This loss is the second consecutive drop for this sector following gains to start the year. The decline leaves this sector down 1,000 jobs versus last April. Health care and social assistance also pared jobs this month (-900). The monthly loss was the first since October and was partially due to staff reductions in continuing care and assisted living facilities. Other losses were small and included administrative support and waste management (-300), retail (-200), and construction (-200). Job gains were generally slight in nature and included a larger than expected seasonal increase in accommodations and food services (+400). Despite job losses to start the year, this sector remains substantially higher than last year?s mark. Smaller gain included finance and insurance (+200), educational services (+200), and management of companies and enterprises (+200). Transportation and warehousing advanced slightly and has expanded payrolls markedly since last year (+2,300).

Compared to last April, 10,300 jobs have been added to Iowa?s total nonfarm employment. Although hiring was flat in April, manufacturing has been responsible for most of the increase. Durable goods factories have advanced by 7,400 jobs compared to 2,700 jobs in nondurable goods shops. The finance and insurance industry has been responsible for 2,800 jobs added. This industry has added jobs in three consecutive months. Accommodations and food services have gained 2,800 jobs versus one year ago. This gain is welcomed news and represents some level of confidence from consumers willing to spend disposable income on recreational activities and eating and drinking establishments. Losses have been heaviest in the retail sector (-4,500) as brick-and-mortar businesses have been dealing with consumers? increasing preferences for online shopping. Construction is down 2,500 jobs annually, but has made up some ground versus last year?s mark over the past few months.

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