Iowa JobWatch — Latest Numbers (through June 2018)
Iowa JobWatch: June Improvement in Iowa jobs
Jobless rate holds at 2.7 percent; 3,400-job rise in payrolls — summer government jobs help

Iowa JobWatch — June 2018

Issued Friday, July 20, 2018

IOWA CITY, Iowa (July 20, 2018) — Iowa payroll jobs gained in June for the eighth time in 10 months as the unemployment rate held steady at 2.7 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).

“The 3,400-job increase in June — due mostly to an increase in local government jobs for summer activities — offered one of the better gains we have seen in recent months. Over the last 12 months, jobs are up 15,900 — a weak pace for the economy at only about 1,300 jobs per month.

“As Economic Policy Institute analysis shows, we would need 1,500 net new jobs each month for the next three years just to catch the pace of population growth and have jobs where they stood before the last recession started in late 2007. Iowa has not gained 1,500 net jobs per month over a full calendar year since 2014.”

The Iowa Policy Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit public policy research organization based in Iowa City. Reports are at

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 rose by 3,400 to 1,588,400 in June, 15,900 ahead of June 2017.
• Iowa's unemployment rate remained at 2.7 percent (as in May). That compares with 3.2 percent a year earlier.
• Only 5 of 11 major job categories showed gains in June — led by 2,900 in government and 900 in construction. Iowa Workforce Development attributed the government increase mostly to local hiring for summer activities.
• Declines were small in four sectors, the largest a 600 drop in professional and business services, with no change in two categories.

Key Trends
• Over the year, manufacturing has gained the most, 9,800. Professional and business services (2,600) and financial activities (2,200) showed the next largest increases among the seven sectors with net gains over the 12 months.
• Three categories declined over the previous 12 months — trade, transportation and utilities by 700, education and health services by 400, and “other” services by 2,500.

Job Growth Perspective
• Iowa jobs still have not recovered from the Great Recession when accounting for population growth. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Iowa would have had to gain 100,600 net nonfarm jobs to keep up with 6.7 percent population growth since the December 2007 start of the last recession, but has gained back 63,200. This leaves a jobs deficit of 38,400.