The percentage of Iowa’s workforce that is unemployed continues to fall and is nearing its pre-pandemic level, according to an Iowa Workforce Development report on Friday.
The state’s unemployment rate fell to 3% in April, down from a peak of 10.5% two years ago.
That rate was about 2.6% in the months that preceded the coronavirus pandemic that began in March 2020.
“Thousands of Iowans returned to the workforce in April and found promising new careers in manufacturing, construction, and other industries,” said Beth Townsend, the IWD director. “Our economy continues to grow, our labor force continues to expand.”
The unemployment rate for the entire country was 3.6% in April, unchanged from March.
The number of new unemployment claims in April in Iowa was 5,290, the lowest for a single month since 1973, IWD reported.
The state added 3,300 jobs, which was driven by the manufacturing and construction sectors.
The state’s overall workforce increased slightly from March to about 1.7 million, and the number of unemployed workers dipped 8% to about 51,000.
The workforce participation rate — that is, the number of people who are employed compared to the overall workforce size — increased slightly to 67.4%. That rate was about 70% in the months leading into the start of the pandemic. The rate fell to a low of 65.9% in summer 2020.
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