Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.1 percent in March, down from 3.8 percent a year ago. The national rate stood at 4.5 percent in March. The labor market continues to be tight. "Unemployed Iowans continued to leave the labor force in March," said Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development director. "The reduction in Iowa's total labor force represents a smaller pool of qualified applicants and is making it difficult for businesses to fill positions. Total nonfarm employment showed little hiring among Iowa businesses this month, resulting in a net decline in jobs." The number of unemployed Iowans fell to 51,900 in March from 53,800 in February. Iowa businesses cut jobs for the first time since November, with total nonfarm employment down to 1,580,600 jobs.