DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.0 percent in June 2021 from 3.9 percent in May 2021. The state’s jobless rate was 7.1 percent one year ago. The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,587,800 in June of 2021, which is 59,300 higher than June 2020 and 3,800 more than May of 2021. In addition to 3,800 newly employed Iowans, the number of unemployed Iowans looking for work rose by 2,400, resulting in Iowa’s labor force participation rate increasing from 66.4% in May to 66.6%.
“Despite an increase in the unemployment rate, the overall trends are positive including the regular increase in the number of Iowans working and looking for work,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development. “Additionally, the total number of Iowans who are working increased by 3,800 in June. It is a good sign to see more Iowans enter the labor force after leaving federal unemployment programs mid-June. With over 70,000 open jobs, we need everyone we can get to rejoin the workforce to continue our economic recovery.”
Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment
Iowa establishments added 3,900 jobs in June, raising total nonfarm employment to 1,522,700. Larger-than-expected gains in seasonal industries fueled job growth this month. Private sectors gained 1,300 jobs due to hiring in leisure and hospitality and trade and transportation. Government added 2,600 jobs due primarily to hiring in local governments and related summer projects. Overall, government is now up 16,000 jobs compared to last year.
Within private sectors, leisure and hospitality added the most jobs in June (+1,100). The largest gains were within the accommodations and food services sector (+700). Aside from sluggishness around the holidays, this sector has added jobs consistently since April of last year. Manufacturing continued to trend up in June (+600). Jobs were added in both durable and non-durable goods factories. Non-durable goods shops have been fueled by food manufacturing which comprise more than half of this sector and have grown beyond pre-recession levels. Durable goods manufacturing has been showing signs of expansion in 2021 with 2,700 jobs added to begin the year. Trade and transportation gained 600 jobs this month thanks to hiring in both retail and wholesale trade. This supersector has been slow to add jobs recently and this is the first substantial gain since December of last year. Administrative support and waste management continued to expand payrolls (+600) and financial activities added jobs for the first time since March (+400). Alternatively, health care and social assistance was the only sector to experience a significant loss this month (-1,600). This sector has been slow to recover to pre-pandemic levels as firms have adjusted to working with increased social-distancing measures.
Since last June, Iowa total nonfarm employment has gained 62,600 jobs. Leisure and hospitality continues to rebuild following quarantine efforts and is now up 18,600 jobs. Manufacturing has gained 8,600 jobs and trade and transportation increased by 7,300 jobs thanks to hiring in retail (+6,500).
Unemployment Insurance Claims
The total number of initial claims decreased in June 2021 by 4,734 (-33.0 percent) from May 2021 and have fallen 29,623 (-75.5 percent) from June 2020. The number of recipients decreased by 1.0 percent from last month and are down 147,572 over the prior year. The weeks paid increased to 82,559 in June, approximately 13.7 percent of the 600,440 paid in June 2020, while the total amount paid to claimants increased to $30.7 million from $28.3 million the previous month and approximately 17.5 percent of the $175 million paid twelve months ago.