Iowa’s January jobless rate was 5 percent, unchanged from the revised rate for December.
Iowa Workforce Development on Monday said the December unemployment rate was revised to 5 percent from the previously reported 4.9 percent.
The January rate of 5 percent compares favorably with the 5.4 percent rate reported for January 2012. Either rate is sharply lower than the U.S. unemployment rate that inched up slightly in January to 7.9 percent, from 7.8 percent in December.
Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development, said considerable progress was made in 2012 toward reducing the state’s jobless rate.
“Iowa’s annual average unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 percent in 2012 from 5.9 percent in 2011,” Wahlert said. “Hiring also was stronger last year than initially estimated with most industries receiving upward revisions to job growth.”
The number of unemployed Iowans increased slightly to 82,100 in January from 81,700 in December. The statewide level of unemployed stood at 88,500 a year ago.
The total number of working Iowans slipped to 1,547,100 in January from 1,547,600 in December. Total employment was reported at 1,564,700 in January 2012.
Iowa non-farm employment increased by 3,700 jobs in January, lifting the level to 1,519,400. The gain reversed two straight months of drops.
Half of the employment categories added jobs this month, while the other half posted losses. However, the job gains more than offset the losses.
Total non-farm employment is 19,500 jobs higher than a year ago.
Professional and business services added the most jobs in January, up 3,100. Within the sector, the largest increase was in administrative and support services, while professional and technical services also reported gains.
Manufacturing grew by 2,600 with job growth evenly distributed between durable and non-durable goods factories. January marked the fourth consecutive month for job gains in manufacturing.
The losses primarily resulted from lower-than-expected hiring in private education services and a decrease in spending for recreation and dining services. Smaller losses were posted for construction, finance, and other services in January.
Seasonally-adjusted January employment and unemployment figures for cities and counties will be released later this month.