Iowa JobWatch — Latest Numbers (through April 2017)
Iowa JobWatch: Iowa drops jobs for second straight month
Jobs drops more frequent over last year; April jobless rate at 3.1 percent

Iowa JobWatch — April 2017

Issued Friday, May 26, 2017

IOWA CITY, Iowa (May 26, 2017) — Payroll jobs dropped in Iowa for the second straight month as the April unemployment rate held at 3.1 percent.

The Iowa Policy Project released the following statement from Executive Director Mike Owen about the latest seasonally adjusted jobs data from Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

“You never want to see two straight months of job declines, but the declines of March and April are not steep and the economy can recover from them.

“Nevertheless, the long-term trends are not promising when job growth already has been slow for several years. Again, we see Iowa’s economy has produced net gains in only six of the last 12 months. The negative months are more frequent over the last year than they had been over the previous five years, which makes it difficult for the state to gain ground.”

The Iowa Policy Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization in Iowa City that has been tracking Iowa job issues since its founding in 2001. Find reports at

Key Numbers
Iowa nonfarm jobs dipped by 500 to 1,579,700 in April, 8,000 ahead of April 2016.
Iowa's unemployment rate was 3.1 percent, as in March, down from 3.8 percent a year earlier.
Jobs gained in only four of the 11 major job categories. Education and health services led gains with an increase of 1,800, followed by financial activities at 800. Professional and business services gained by 400 and leisure and hospitality by 300, with no change in mining.
Construction jobs fell by 1,500, the largest drop for the month, with declines as well in manufacturing (700), other services (500), government (500), trade, transportation and utilities (300) and information (300).

Key Trends
Iowa nonfarm jobs were up 8,000 over the 12 months from April 2016 to April 2017, or an average of about 700 jobs per month — about 0.5 percent growth.
Iowa has gained nonfarm jobs in six of the last 12 months — but the six declines over that period compare with only 12 declines over the previous five years.
Over the year, education and health services jobs have gained the most (5,300), or about a 2 percent increase. Professional and business services (3,900), financial activities (3,500), and trade, transportation and utilities (2,300) have shown the next largest 12-month gains.
Five categories have shown declines over the last year: manufacturing (4,100), information (1,500), construction (1,300), government (1,300) and leisure and hospitality (500).