Good news on the unemployment front: County jobless rate drops 12 percent
There is positive news on the unemployment front for Henry County, according to the February statistics released Friday by Iowa Workforce Development (IWD).
County unemployment fell by 12 percent in February to 6.6 percent from January’s figure of 7.5 percent. In February 2012, the county had a jobless rate of 7.8 percent. Coupled with this February’s figure of 6.6 percent, the jobless rate is 15.4 percent lower in February 2013 than February 2012.
Most southeast Iowa counties did see a drop in the jobless rate during February. Following are the respective county figures with the February 2013 figure listed first, followed by the January 2013 rate and the percent of decrease or increase.
Appanoose, 7.7, 8.0, -3.8; Davis, 7.0, 7.0, 0; Des Moines, 7.4, 8.9, -16.9; Jefferson, 6.5, 7.1, -8.5; Keokuk, 7.0, 7.0, 0; Lee, 9.0, 10.6, -15.1; Louisa, 6.3, 6.8. -7.4; Mahaska, 6.1, 6.0, 1.7; Muscatine, 5.8, 6.2, -6.5; Van Buren, 7.7, 8.0, -3.8; Wapello, 7.1, 7.6, -6.6; Washington, 5.3, 5.6, -5.4.
Iowa’s unemployment remained at 5 percent. That is a 7.4 percent drop from February 2012 when the state’s jobless rate was at 5.4 percent.
Across the country, February unemployment showed a drop from 7.9 to 7.7 percent. The 7.7 percent was a 7.2 percent from national unemployment of 8.3 percent in February 2012.
The nationwide unemployment figure was the lowest since December 2008.
Teresa Wahlert, IWD director, said Iowa’s February figures included some good news. “Iowa’s labor force and total employment numbers increased in February, a sign that more individuals are participating in the statewide labor market. The state’s labor force participation rate nudged up to 68.3 percent in February from 68 percent in January.”
The number of unemployed Iowans rose slightly to 82,600 in February from 81,600 in January, but was 6,700 lower than the year ago figure of 89,300.
Total nonfarm employment in Iowa increase to 1,520,800 in February, a gain of 800 from the January total of 1,520,000.
Manufacturing increased by 900 jobs in February, leading all sectors in job growth. February marked the fifth consecutive gain for the industry, and is due entirely to growth in durable goods factories, IWD officials said.
The February nonfarm employment figure is 19,100 higher than one year ago. Manufacturing accounted for the largest share of the annual gains, up 7,300, and profession and business service advanced by 3,800.