Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.7 percent in November

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: December 17, 2021
Contact: Jesse Dougherty
Telephone: 515-725-5487
Email:  communications@iwd.iowa.gov

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Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.7 percent in November

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent in November, down from 3.9 percent in October and 3.9 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent.

The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 61,600 in November from 64,800 in October.

The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,599,300 in November. This figure is 3,100 higher than October and 38,400 higher than one year ago. 

The labor force participation rate remained steady at 66.8 percent.

“Iowa’s economy continued to improve in November, with gains in employment nearly across the board,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Iowa companies showed more comfort with increasing their staffing levels, and they found plenty of Iowans ready to launch new careers. We hope to build on this growth in 2022, when our Reemployment Case Management program will add new urgency to the process of helping Iowans find employment.”

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Despite improvement in the unemployment rate, total nonfarm employment in November decreased by 1,000 jobs, primarily due to data impacts from a temporary labor dispute. (Differences in methodology meant workers involved in the labor dispute were still counted as employed workers in the unemployment rate survey; however, the survey used to determine nonfarm employment counted those same jobs as lost.) Due to the temporary nature of the losses, it is expected that December’s release will show a substantial rebound from factory workers returning to their jobsites. November’s loss nevertheless leaves Iowa’s total nonfarm employment at 1,539,900 jobs, up 30,900 versus this time last year.

Manufacturing shed 5,500 jobs in November during the disruptions described above. This temporary reduction affected durable goods factories (-6,200) and overwhelmed job growth elsewhere. (Manufacturing job totals are expected to return to normal next month, when workers will be counted as rejoining the assembly lines.) Nondurable goods factories increased slightly (+600) in November. The only other sector to post a loss in November was information services (-400). Otherwise, job gains were seen in most other industries in November, with the largest coming in leisure and hospitality (+2,000). A majority of this increase stemmed from hiring within accommodations and food services. Professional and business services advanced by 1,100 jobs. The bulk of the hiring was within administration support and waste management. Smaller increases included health care and social assistance (+700) and construction (+600).

Annually, leisure and hospitality has added the most jobs of any super sector (+16,100). The majority of these job gains have been in accommodations and food services (+12,900). Retail trade has advanced by 4,100 jobs leading to a gain of 4,500 total in trade, transportation, and utilities. Education and health care services is up 3,500 jobs annually due to increased staffing in private education. Alternatively, construction has shed 1,600 jobs over the past 12 months. This could be a symptom of high input costs, material shortages, and/or just apprehension about investing in business upgrades or new projects at this time.  

MEDIA ALERT:  Local data for November 2021 will be posted to the IWD website on Tuesday, December 21, 2021. Statewide and local data for December 2021 will be released on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

Employment and Unemployment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data
           
        Change from
  November October November October November
  2021 2021 2020 2021 2020
           
Civilian labor force 1,660,900 1,661,000 1,625,000 -100 35,900
Unemployment 61,600 64,800 64,200 -3,200 -2,600
Unemployment rate 3.7% 3.9% 3.9% -0.2 -0.2
Employment 1,599,300 1,596,200 1,560,900 3,100 38,400
Labor Force Participation Rate 66.8% 66.8% 65.5% 0.0 1.3
           
U.S. unemployment rate 4.2% 4.6% 6.7% -0.4 -2.5
           
Nonfarm Employment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data
           
Total Nonfarm Employment 1,539,900 1,540,900 1,509,000 -1,000 30,900
Mining 2,300 2,300 2,400 0 -100
Construction 74,900 74,300 76,500 600 -1,600
Manufacturing 218,700 224,200 216,000 -5,500 2,700
Trade, transportation and utilities 309,200 308,900 304,700 300 4,500
Information 18,000 18,400 18,400 -400 -400
Financial activities 110,500 110,300 109,800 200 700
Professional and business services 134,600 133,500 134,700 1,100 -100
Education and health services 224,100 223,500 220,600 600 3,500
Leisure and hospitality 135,700 133,700 119,600 2,000 16,100
Other services 56,800 56,700 55,000 100 1,800
Government 255,100 255,100 251,300 0 3,800
 (above data subject to revision)          

 

Unemployment Insurance Claims for Iowa
           
        % Change from
  November October November October November
  2021 2021 2020 2021 2020
           
Initial claims 9,982 8,304 25,649 20.2% -61.1%
Continued claims          
     Benefit recipients 9,665 9,435 35,877 2.4% -73.1%
     Weeks paid 29,593 30,443 111,741 -2.8% -73.5%
     Amount paid $12,513,463 $12,766,521 $38,714,617 -2.0% -67.7%

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