Iowa's total nonfarm employment fell by 3,300 jobs in May, Iowa Workforce Development said today announcing that the state's unemployment rate held steady at 5.1 percent last month.
The month's decline in nonfarm jobs, to 1,492,400, were spread across several sectors with Iowa Workforce officials saying the declines could be a symptom of the economic turmoil in Europe coupled with decreased spending from consumers. The job loss in May is the second for the current year, but the magnitudes of the declines have been smaller than the gains.
Professional and business services decreased by 1,900 with the largest losses coming in administrative and support services(-1,700). Trade and transportation pared 1,800 jobs with smaller losses occurring in construction (-900), manufacturing (-400) and finance (-200).
Leisure and hospitality led all sectors in job gains up 1,200. Job gains in health care (+700), education and health services (+300), information (+200), and government (+200) were also seen.
Compared to last year, however, Iowa has added 13,400 jobs.
The number of unemployed Iowans also edged up last month to 85,200, Workforce Development reported, which was 200 more than April's unemployment figures. A year ago the figure stood at 99,100.
May's 5.1 percent unemployment rate compares favorably to the national rate last month, which edge up to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in April. In May a year ago, Iowa's unemployment rate was 6.0 percent.
"The Iowa economy remains on track for modest growth in the coming months," said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. "Continued improvement, particularly in housing, will strengthen job growth in a broad range of industries."
County unemployment rates for May will be released next week. In April, Jasper County's rate fell dramatically from the 8.5 to 8.9 percent rates seen in the first three months of the year to 7.1 percent. Although down, it was still two percentage points above the state average and among the highest in the state.