Iowa JobWatch — Latest Numbers (through March 2013)
Iowa JobWatch: Weakened Start to 2013
Nonfarm jobs drop in March — but so does jobless rate

Issued Friday, April 19, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa (April 19, 2013) — The Iowa Policy Project today released the following statement from Research Associate Heather Gibney about the latest Iowa job numbers provided by Iowa Workforce Development:

"Iowa’s job picture weakened in March, despite a drop in the unemployment rate from 4.9 percent from 5.0 percent in February. A drop of 5,500 nonfarm jobs in one month is never good news, and it has the state off on a slow pace for job expansions in 2013. Through the first three months, the state is averaging a net increase of only 500 jobs per month. That’s far too slow a pace for meaningful growth toward job recovery and longer-term goals"

nonfarm jobs change by month, 2012
Source: Iowa Workforce Development, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Key Numbers
— Nonfarm jobs decreased in March by 5,500 to 1,517,200, but 11,000 ahead of where they stood a year earlier.
— Nonfarm jobs are 10,800 behind the May 2008 peak of 1,528,000, and 7,700 behind the level at the start of the last recession in December 2007.
— The unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in March, down from 5.4 percent a year earlier.
— Initial unemployment claims were 11,941 in March, down a fourth of a percent since February and 5.8 percent from March 2012. The number of continuing claims – 44,571- was down 4.1 percent for the month and 2 percent for the year.

Key Trends
— Iowa averaged a monthly increase of 900 jobs over the last 12 months, and only 500 for the first three months of the year.
— Many sectors posted a marginal decrease this month with leisure and hospitality with the highest decrease (down 2000), as well as construction (down 1,300), trade and transportation (down 300), information (down 900), professional and business (down 1,100), and government (down 800). Natural Resources, manufacturing and financial activities all posted a marginal gain. Education and health posted an 800-job gain, the largest of any sector.
— Since this time last year, construction, leisure & hospitality, and information are down, while all other sectors have increased. Manufacturing posted the largest increase – up 7,000 from 12 months earlier.