Iowa JobWatch — Latest Numbers (through June 2015)
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Iowa JobWatch — June 2015

Issued Tuesday, July 21, 2015

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa nonfarm jobs rose by 3,000 in June following a slight downward revision for May, as the state unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent, according to the latest estimates from Iowa Workforce Development and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Iowa Policy Project released the following statement from Executive Director Mike Owen:

“Iowa's slow pace of job growth received an above-average boost in June, of 3,000 jobs. We always look more at the long-term trend, which is slightly below 2,000 jobs added per month for the last five years.

“We would have to see repeated months at the 3,000 level that Iowa’s economy posted in June to significantly close our job gap from the last recession. That gap remains at about 36,600. So it would take a year at the June pace just to catch up to where we were before a recession that ended six years ago. This should give an idea of just how slow our recovery has been in Iowa.”

Job Growth Perspective
The June numbers leave Iowa 36,600 jobs short of what is needed, with population growth, to match payroll jobs at the start of the 2007-09 recession. (Source: Economic Policy Institute)

The Iowa Policy Project (IPP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit public policy research and analysis organization in Iowa City. IPP has issued monthly job reports since 2003. IPP analysis is available at

Key Numbers
• Nonfarm jobs rose in June by 3,000 to a record high of 1,570,600, from a revised 1,567,600 in May. Nonfarm jobs are 23,400 ahead of where they stood in June 2014.
• The unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent from 3.8 percent, and was down from 4.4 percent a year earlier.
• The labor force — those working or looking for work — fell by 6,000 from May to 1,704,500 but remained 800 ahead of June 2014.
• Seven major job sectors posted gains in June — the largest 4,300 in trade, transportation and utilities. All other gains were by less than 1,000, the highest being financial activities and professional and business services, both at 900. Other gains came in government, other services, construction and manufacturing.
• Education and health services dropped by 2,200, and leisure and hospitality fell by 2,100 among four sectors showing declines. Information and mining each dropped by 100.

Key Trends
• Over the last 20 months, Iowa has gained nonfarm or payroll jobs in 17.
• Iowa averaged a monthly increase of just under 2,000 jobs from June 2014 to June 2015.
• Over the year, the strongest percentage gains came in construction, 5.1 percent (3,800 jobs). "Other" services were up 3.4 percent.
• Three categories remained down from a year earlier: manufacturing and information by 1,200 each, and mining by 200.