Iowa JobWatch — Latest Numbers (through June 2013)
Job Peak Reached — Next Target: Real Jobs Deficit
Iowa JobWatch — July 2013

Issued Friday, July 19, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa (July 19, 2013) — A net boost of 6,500 nonfarm jobs in June gave Iowa’s economy its largest increase of the year, while the unemployment rate stayed steady at 4.6 percent. The nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project released the following statement from Research Associate Heather Gibney:

“It has taken over five years, but Iowa finally has erased its job gap from the start of the last recession, and reached a new record high in nonfarm jobs in June, at 1,530,300.

“With this symbolic step we must turn to the real jobs deficit: the 55,000 jobs we still need to keep up with population growth since the start of the 2007 recession. The last two months have pushed Iowa’s monthly average to 2,400 jobs gained through the first half of 2013.

“We also must keep in mind that these numbers do not tell us about the quality — hours, pay and benefits — of jobs being lost or gained. Our public policies should be designed to draw jobs that pay well and offer benefits.”

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

Key Numbers
Nonfarm jobs increased 6,500 in June to 1,530,300 from 1,523,800 in May. Nonfarm jobs were 24,800 ahead of where they stood last June.
Nonfarm jobs are now 2,300 above the May 2008 peak of 1,528,000, and 5,400 above the level at the start of the last recession in December 2007.
The unemployment rate remained at 4.6 percent in June, down from 5.3 percent a year earlier.
Initial unemployment claims were 10,903 in June, down 17.1 percent since May and 5.4 percent from June 2012. The number of continuing claims — 25,997 — was down 24.6 percent for the month 1.6 percent for the year.

Key Trends
Iowa averaged a monthly increase of 2,100 jobs over the last 12 months, and 2,400 through the first six months of 2013.
Four sectors posted large gains in June with construction and leisure and hospitality both up 2,600, professional and business services up 1,900 and other services up 1,600. Four sectors posted smaller gains with financial services and manufacturing both (400), information (300), and trade (200).
Sectors that posted losses in June were education and health services, and government (both down 1,700), and natural resources (down 100).
Over the year, the most noteworthy changes have been increases in manufacturing (5,300), professional and business services (4,500), financial activities (3,900) and leisure and hospitality (3,800).
According to the Economic Policy Institute, Iowa’s population has increased by 4 percent since the start of the 2007 recession; with a net gain of 5,400 jobs since then, Iowa is 55,100 jobs behind what would be needed to keep up with population growth.