Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly to 4.4 percent in February from 4.3 percent in January, as the state’s labor force climbed to its highest level in five years. The statewide jobless rate stood at 4.9 percent one year ago. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate for February ticked up to 6.7 percent from the previous month’s 6.6 percent.
“Iowa experienced an unusually large increase in the state’s labor force in February, said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “This solid rise in the number of job seekers is a sign of growing confidence in the statewide economy.”
The statewide estimate of unemployed persons rose to 74,400 in February from 71,600 in January, but was down 6,700 from the year ago level of 81,100.
The total number of working Iowans advanced to 1,610,100 in February from 1,606,200 in January. Total employment is 23,900 higher than one year ago, and the highest on record since June 2008.