(The Center Square) – Iowa’s labor force participation rate is 68.8 percent for July, up from 68.2 percent at the same time last year and the same as March 2020, according to the latest job numbers released by Iowa Workforce Development.
The number of new jobs is up by 14,400 from last July, and the workforce increased by 2,700 workers month over month, according to the data.
But the state lost 5,300 jobs from June to July, marking a third consecutive month of payroll declines. The most losses are in the accommodations and food services industry, which shed 2,000 jobs in July. Two thousand jobs were also lost in the professional and business services industry, according to Iowa Workforce Development.
“Iowa’s labor force participation increased for the fifth straight month, although we do see signs that some businesses are being cautious with hiring amid prolonged national economic uncertainty,” said Beth Townsend, executive director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Over 65,000 job opportunities still exist in our state, and Iowa Workforce Development stands ready to help connect Iowans to these great opportunities.”
Education and health care led all industries in new jobs from July 2022 to July 2023, with an additional 10,100 jobs, mostly in health care. The arts and entertainment industry added 2,500.
The job losses from July 2022 are in the professional and business services industries, which lost 6,400 jobs, according to IWD. Most of those jobs were in administrative support and waste management, the department said.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 2.7 percent, the same as June and down from 2.8 percent the year before.
The national unemployment rate is 3.5 percent, down from 3.6 percent in June.