Issued Friday, September 21, 2018
IOWA CITY, Iowa (Sep. 21, 2018) — A slight increase in Iowa payroll jobs in August followed a dip in July, while the unemployment rate fell to an 18-year low of 2.5 percent.
The Iowa Policy Project released the following statement from Executive Director Mike Owen about the latest seasonally adjusted jobs data from Iowa Workforce Development and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"Payroll jobs were up in August by 2,300, after a dip of 1,200 in July. August showed increases in six of the 11 major job sectors, and put Iowa at an all-time high of 1.593 million jobs.
“A longer-term look puts this performance in better perspective than a one-month tally. The latest state report leaves Iowa 21,100 jobs ahead of where they stood in August 2017. That 12-month increase is only a 1,800 average bump per month, but the increase is slower through the first eight months of 2018 — only 1,300 per month."
Iowa jobs still have not recovered from the Great Recession when accounting for population growth. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Iowa would have had to gain 103,400 net nonfarm jobs to keep up with 6.8 percent population growth since the December 2007 start of the last recession, but has gained back 68,100. This leaves a jobs deficit of 35,300.
The Iowa Policy Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization in Iowa City that has been tracking Iowa job issues since its founding in 2001. Find reports at www.iowapolicyproject.org.
• Iowa nonfarm jobs rose by 2,300 to 1,593,300 in August, 21,100 ahead of August 2017.
• Iowa's unemployment rate fell to 2.5 percent, its lowest level in 18 years. That compares with 3.0 percent a year earlier.
• Six of 11 major job categories showed gains in August — led by 1,600 in trade and transportation, one of the state's four largest job sectors. Construction rose by 1,100 and government jobs by 1,000.
• Declines in four sectors included information (200); financial activities (400); leisure and hospitality (1,100); and "other" services (400). Mining was unchanged.
• Over the year, manufacturing has gained the most, 11,000. Construction (5,200); professional and business services (2,500); and financial activities (2,200) showed the next largest increases among the eight sectors with net gains over the 12 months.
• Two categories declined over the previous 12 months — "other" services (2,600); and information (200).
Job Growth Perspective
• Iowa jobs still have not recovered from the Great Recession when accounting for population growth. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Iowa would have had to gain 103,400 net nonfarm jobs to keep up with 6.8 percent population growth since the December 2007 start of the last recession, but has gained back 68,100. This leaves a jobs deficit of 35,300.