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Iowa’s March unemployment rate at 3.3%


Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in March was 3.3%, down slightly from 3.5% in February, according to Iowa Workforce Development.

In March 2021, Iowa’s unemployment rate was 4.4%.

The state’s labor force participation rate in March was 67.2%, up from February’s rate of 67%, according to the release. There were 1,637,100 working Iowans in March, compared with 1,627,100 in February. In March 2021, there were 1,597,700 working Iowans.

“Iowa’s economic recovery has made tremendous strides over the past year, and we’re starting to see real progress as more and more Iowans rejoin the workforce,” Beth Townsend, director of the state agency, said in a prepared statement. “Employers continue to need workforce.”

But while some businesses are vigorously seeking workers, others are shedding jobs, data in the report shows.

Total nonfarm employment in Iowa in March was 1,563,700, 1,500 fewer than in February when there were 1,565,200 workers, according to the release.

The decline in employment was the first drop since August 2021 and was due to cutbacks in private service industries, according to the release. “Prior to this drop, Iowa had been experiencing a strong increase in hiring with 25,900 jobs added over the last six months.”

Leisure and hospitality shed 2,800 jobs in March when there were 136,900 people employed in the sector, according to the release. In February, there were 139,700 people employed in leisure and hospitality-related jobs. “This loss was unexpected given the recent hiring within both accommodations and food services and art and entertainment industries,” according to the release.

Education and health services had 600 fewer people working in the sector in March – 224,500, compared with 225,100 in February, according to the release.

Trade, transportation and utilities added 1,900 jobs in March, with 316,600 people working in the sector, according to the release. In February, there were 314,700 employed in the sector.

The U.S. unemployment was 3.6% in March. In February it was 3.8%.

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