Iowa JobWatch — Latest Numbers (through October 2012)
Iowa JobWatch: Bright October for Iowa Jobs
Nonfarm jobs rise by 6,000; jobless rate dips to 5.1 percent

Issued Tuesday, November 20, 2012

IOWA CITY, Iowa (Nov. 20, 2012) — Iowa nonfarm jobs jumped by 6,000 in October as the state unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent, from 5.2 percent in September and 5.8 percent in October 2011, Iowa Workforce Development reported today. The nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project released the following statement from executive director David Osterberg about the latest numbers:

"October was a good month for Iowa jobs, and the trends for the year are positive. The strong month keeps Iowa on a pace to slow recovery from the last recession, as we are still 32,000 jobs behind where we were in May 2008, when Iowa jobs hit their peak.

“Through 10 months of 2012, jobs are growing at a rate of 1,700 per month. That is close to some of the better years in the middle of the last decade. At that pace, however, it still would take 19 months to dig out of the hole from the recession. So it's a slow pace, but it is the right direction.”

nonfarm jobs average 1991-2012
Source: Iowa Workforce Development, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Key Numbers
— Nonfarm jobs rose in October by 6,000 to 1,496,300, from an upwardly revised 1,490,300 in September.
— Over the last 12 months, nonfarm jobs are up by 15,300, from 1,481,000 in October 2011.
— Nonfarm jobs are 32,200 behind the May 2008 peak of 1,528,500, and 28,600 behind the level at the start of the last recession in December 2007.
— The unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in October, down from 5.2 percent in September and 5.8 percent percent a year earlier.
— Initial unemployment claims were 13,254 in October, up by 43 percent from September, and 10 percent from October 2011. The number of continuing claims — 25,418 — was up 8 percent for the month and down 7 percent for the year.

Key Trends
— Iowa averaged a monthly increase of 1,300 jobs over the last 12 months. The first 10 months of 2012 have shown an average job increase of 1,700 per month.
— The biggest changes in the month were increases of 2,600 in leisure and hospitality, 1,800 in education and health services, and 1,500 in manufacturing. Declines came in only two categories, trade, transportation and utilities (800) and financial activities (300).
— Over the year, manufacturing remains the biggest gainer, up 8,200 from October 2011. Declines came in only the two largest sectors: trade, transportation and utilities (down 2,000) and government (down 1,300).