That’s down from 3.9 percent in December

Iowa’s jobless numbers drop to 3.7% for January

Wendy’s at Center Point Road and 42nd Street NE in Cedar Rapids posted an offer of free lunch for job applicants in February. (Michael Chevy Castranova/The Gazette)

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate in January dropped to 3.7 percent, down from 3.9 percent in December, according to Iowa Workforce Development.

The total number of unemployed decreased to 62,700 in January, a drop of 2,200 from revised December data, the state agency said in a news release.

“Iowa businesses added 3,000 jobs in January, and the total number of working Iowans increased by 6,900 to 1,617,700. The labor force participation rate increased slightly to 66.8 percent,” the release said.

Iowa’s jobless rate in January 2021 was 4.4 percent.

The past five years of monthly labor force data, 2017 through 2021, were revised as required by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state agency noted.

Among the highlights:

The leisure and hospitality sectors added the most jobs in January, with more than 2,500. Most of those gains were within accommodations and food services, which were up 6,500 jobs since August.

Manufacturing gained 1,700 jobs, with the bulk of gains in nondurable goods production. with more than 1,100 jobs, and many related to food production and animal slaughtering and processing.

Construction added 600 jobs, now having increased by 2,800 jobs over the past three months.

Professional and business services, however, lost some 2,200 positions, mostly in administrative management and waste remediation services industry.

“This sector has been sluggish for several months and trails last year’s mark by 2,700 jobs,” the release said.

Other services lost 1,000 jobs, mostly as a result of cutbacks in personal care industries.

Smaller losses were in trade, transportation and utilities sectors, at 700 lost positions, and information, with a drop of 200.

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