Cedar Rapids, Iowa City unemployment rates fall in April

Iowa unemployment rate falls to 4.7 percent; more people employed

March 28, 2014 | 3:37 pm

More residents of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City were working last month, causing unemployment rates to fall again in the Corridor.

Iowa Workforce Development on Tuesday reported the jobless rate in the Cedar Rapids metropolitan statistical area slid 0.5 percent to 4.8 percent in April from 5.3 percent in March. The last time the Cedar Rapids MSA posted a 4.8 percent unemployment rate was September, October and November 2012, according to IWD records.

The Cedar Rapids jobless rate last dropped below 4.8 percent to 4.7 percent in August 2008 before the start of the recession. The final quarter of 2012 was somewhat of an anomaly as the unemployment rate climbed back above 5 percent in January 2013.

A total of 137,400 Cedar Rapids area residents were employed last month, up 1,000 from 136,400 in March. The labor force also expanded from 144,100 in March to 144,300 in April.

Natural resources and construction enjoyed a seasonal boost, adding 600 jobs. Leisure and hospitality added 400 seasonal jobs, but remains 300 below one year ago.

Trade, transportation and warehousing added 300 jobs in retail trade. Professional and business services and educational and health services each added 200 jobs.

Manufacturing has 300 fewer jobs from April 2012.

The unemployment rate dipped to 3.1 percent in the Iowa City MSA last month, down 0.4 percent from 3.5 percent in March. The labor force slid to 92,300 in April from 92,600 in March and 89,500 residents were employed last month, up from 89,400 in March.

Nonfarm employment in the Iowa City metropolitan statistical area gained 400 jobs from last month.

The job gains were split among trade, transportation and warehousing (300), professional and business services (200) and leisure and hospitality (400). Government shed 700 jobs, mostly in state government.

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