Iowa's Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.0 Percent in September

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: October 22, 2021
Contact: Jesse Dougherty
Telephone: 515-725-5487
Email:  communications@iwd.iowa.gov

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Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.0 percent in September

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.0 percent in September, down from 4.1 percent in August and 4.7 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent in September.

The labor force participation rate remained steady at 66.8 percent.

“Iowa’s economy is continuing its steady climb out of the pandemic,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “More and more people are finding work, while the number of initial unemployment claims continues to fall. The 7,176 initial claims in September represent a more than 68 percent drop from a year ago and the second lowest monthly number Iowa has seen over the past 20 years. Going forward, it’s imperative that we do everything possible to ensure these positive trends continue.”

The total number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 66,100 in September from 68,000 in August. The current estimate is 10,000 lower than it was last year at this time.

Meanwhile, the total number of working Iowans increased to 1,594,400 in September. This figure is 1,900 higher than August and 37,600 higher than one year ago.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Iowa employers added 7,000 jobs to their payrolls in September, more than offsetting the loss of 3,700 jobs in August. Hiring was particularly strong in trade, accommodations and food services, and manufacturing. Where private industry has been the catalyst for job gains over the past 12 months, government hiring has been sluggish. State government shed 2,000 jobs in September and is now down 1,900 compared to last year.

Retail trade added the most jobs in September (+2,400) and has now added jobs in four consecutive months despite a rough start to 2021. This may be early evidence of a strong holiday shopping season similar to last year. Manufacturing also fared well in September (+1,900), with hiring particularly strong in agriculture and construction machinery manufacturing. Leisure and hospitality recovered some of its August loss by adding 1,700 jobs. Most of the hiring in September stemmed from jobs gained in eating and drinking establishments. Financial activities have been flat through much of 2021 but did gain 900 in September. This sector previously had been unchanged since June. September’s relatively light job losses were led by administrative support and waste management (-1,100). Education and health care services posted the only other private sector losses, shedding a combined 400 jobs.

Iowa total nonfarm employment is now 36,100 jobs ahead of where it was last year. Leisure and hospitality has gained the most jobs (+13,800), fueled by hiring within accommodations and food services. Manufacturing is up 8,900 jobs, with durable goods factories outpacing non-durable goods shops. After September’s gain, retail trade now rests 5,200 jobs above last year’s mark. Annual job losses have been limited to health care and social assistance (-1,100); management of companies and enterprises (-600); and information (-400).

MEDIA ALERT:  Local data for September 2021 will be posted to the IWD website on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. Statewide data for October 2021 will be released on Friday, November 19, 2021.
 

Employment and Unemployment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data
           
        Change from
  September August September August September
  2021 2021 2020 2021 2020
           
Civilian labor force 1,660,500 1,660,500 1,632,800 0 27,700
Unemployment 66,100 68,000 76,100 -1,900 -10,000
Unemployment rate 4.0% 4.1% 4.7% -0.1 -0.7
Employment 1,594,400 1,592,500 1,556,800 1,900 37,600
           
U.S. unemployment rate 4.8% 5.2% 7.8% -0.4 -3.0
           
Nonfarm Employment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data
           
Total Nonfarm Employment 1,538,200 1,531,200 1,502,100 7,000 36,100
Mining 2,200 2,200 2,300 0 -100
Construction 74,700 74,700 73,800 0 900
Manufacturing 223,300 221,400 214,400 1,900 8,900
Trade, transportation and utilities 307,900 304,100 301,700 3,800 6,200
Information 18,300 18,100 18,700 200 -400
Financial activities 110,600 109,700 109,400 900 1,200
Professional and business services 134,700 135,400 132,200 -700 2,500
Education and health services 222,000 222,400 221,300 -400 700
Leisure and hospitality 133,300 131,600 119,500 1,700 13,800
Other services 56,500 56,200 55,100 300 1,400
Government 254,700 255,400 253,700 -700 1,000
 (above data subject to revision)          

 

Unemployment Insurance Claims for Iowa
           
        % Change from
  September August September August September
  2021 2021 2020 2021 2020
           
Initial claims 7,176 7,754 22,890 -7.5% -68.7%
Continued claims          
     Benefit recipients 11,673 15,229 72,738 -23.4% -84.0%
     Weeks paid 43,795 53,530 257,231 -18.2% -83.0%
     Amount paid $17,623,448 $20,269,114 $84,483,435 -13.1% -79.1%

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