Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Increases to 4.1 Percent in July, Labor Participation Continues to Rise

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: August 20, 2021
Contact: Jesse Dougherty
Telephone: 515-725-5487
Email:  communications@iwd.iowa.gov

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Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Increases to 4.1 Percent in July, Labor Participation Continues to Rise

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.1 percent in July 2021 from 4.0 percent in June 2021. The state’s jobless rate was 6.1 percent one year ago. The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,593,600 in July of 2021, which is 55,400 higher than July 2020 and 5,700 more than June of 2021. In addition to 5,700 newly employed Iowans, the number of unemployed Iowans looking for work rose by 800, resulting in Iowa’s labor force participation rate increasing from 66.6 percent in June to 66.9 percent.

“From May to July we saw an increase of 175 percent in the number of people visiting our IowaWORKS job centers to take active steps towards finding work, and that trend has continued in August,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “As we’ve seen over the past few months, Iowans are re-entering the labor force in increasing numbers, and this shows that we continue to move in the right direction.”

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Total nonfarm employment in Iowa gained 7,400 jobs in July, increasing employment to 1,532,800. This was the third consecutive gain. Service industries fueled much of the growth, with gains particularly strong in leisure and hospitality. Additionally, goods-producing industries gained 2,400 workers through robust hiring in manufacturing. Private sectors have added 37,400 jobs annually.

Accommodations and food services added the most jobs in July (+4,400). This was the sector’s seventh consecutive increase for a total of 13,400 jobs added in 2021. Led by durable goods factories, manufacturing added 2,100 jobs in July and has now added jobs in the last three months. Health care and social assistance increased by 1,200 – the first gain since December 2020. Job losses were largest in professional and business services (-800) and fueled primarily by losses in temporary help services along with services to buildings and dwellings.

Annually, Iowa establishments have added 46,100 jobs to their payrolls. Leisure and hospitality has added the most (+16,300) followed by manufacturing (+10,000). Retail trade is up 4,500 compared to last July, although hiring has been tepid to begin the year. Sectors seeing little growth over the past 12 months include transportation and warehousing (-800), health care and social assistance (-800), and information (-300).

MEDIA ALERT:  Local data for July 2021 will be posted to the IWD website on Tuesday, August 24, 2021. Statewide data for August 2021 will be released on Friday, September 17, 2021.

Employment and Unemployment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data
           
        Change from
  July June July June July
  2021 2021 2020 2021 2020
           
Civilian labor force 1,661,000 1,654,600 1,637,800 6,400 23,200
Unemployment 67,400 66,600 99,600 800 -32,200
Unemployment rate 4.1% 4.0% 6.1% 0.1 -2.0
Employment 1,593,600 1,587,900 1,538,200 5,700 55,400
           
U.S. unemployment rate 5.4% 5.9% 10.2% -0.5 -4.8
           
Nonfarm Employment in Iowa, Seasonally Adjusted Data
           
Total Nonfarm Employment 1,532,800 1,525,400 1,486,700 7,400 46,100
Mining 2,200 2,200 2,300 0 -100
Construction 75,500 75,200 75,200 300 300
Manufacturing 222,900 220,800 212,900 2,100 10,000
Trade, transportation and utilities 303,100 302,500 298,400 600 4,700
Information 18,400 18,100 18,700 300 -300
Financial activities 109,700 109,700 108,800 0 900
Professional and business services 135,100 135,900 132,300 -800 2,800
Education and health services 221,400 219,700 220,800 1,700 600
Leisure and hospitality 132,800 129,100 116,500 3,700 16,300
Other services 56,300 56,600 54,100 -300 2,200
Government 255,400 255,600 246,700 -200 8,700
 (above data subject to revisions)          

 

Unemployment Insurance Claims for Iowa
           
        % Change from
  July June July June July
  2021 2021 2020 2021 2020
           
Initial claims 8,362 9,595 36,935 -12.9% -77.4%
Continued claims          
     Benefit recipients 16,661 22,066 148,469 -24.5% -88.8%
     Weeks paid 61,116 82,559 533,773 -26.0% -88.6%
     Amount paid $22,806,572 $30,673,186 $159,874,931 -25.6% -85.7%

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