The labor force increased last month at both ends of the Corridor. But Cedar Rapids’s unemployment rate edged up from the previous month while Iowa City’s rate ticked down.
Iowa Workforce Development on Tuesday said the Cedar Rapids jobless rate was 4.9 percent, up from 4.8 percent in July. The community’s labor force increased to 144,800 in August, from 144,700 in July, and total employment was unchanged at 137,700.
Private employment in the Cedar Rapids metro area contracted by 600 jobs and was fueled by losses in several sectors including professional and business services, construction, and leisure and hospitality. Gains in August were sparse and limited to a slight 100-job increase in transportation and warehousing.
Private industries have fueled all the growth in the Cedar Rapids metro area and are up 1,900 jobs or 1.5 percent. The largest gains have occurred in trade and transportation (+900) and construction (+600).
Professional and business services and education and health services each added 200 jobs.
Losses have been light within private industries but linger in government — down 1,200 due to local government employment reductions.
Iowa City’s jobless rate dipped to 3.8 percent last month from 3.9 percent in July. The community’s labor force increased to 92,700 from 91,900 in July and total employment rose to 89,200 in August from 88,300 the previous month.
Seasonal state government hiring fueled Iowa City metro area non-farm employment in August, raising the total to 93,600 jobs. Government added 2,000 jobs in August, with a slight gain in federal government adding to the state government increases.
Private industries in the Iowa City metro area shed 100 jobs in August with small losses in retail trade (-200) and professional and business services (-100). Goods-producing industries shed 200 jobs last month, partially due to seasonal reductions in construction projects.
Most of the annual non-farm employment gains in the Iowa City metro area stem from the service sector with growth being distributed between government (+700) and private services (+600). Most of the increase can be attributed to hiring in professional and business services and accommodations and food services.
Iowa Workforce Development on Friday reported Iowa’s statewide jobless rate edged up to 4.9 percent in August from 4.8 percent in July.