Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 5.0 percent in February even as more workers entered the labor force. The February jobless rate compared with 5.4 percent for February 2012. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate for February dropped to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in January, falling to its lowest level since December 2008.
“Iowa’s labor force and total employment numbers increased in February, a sign that more individuals are participating in the statewide labor market,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “The state’s labor force participation rate nudged up to 68.3 percent in February from 68.0 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.
The total number of working Iowans picked up momentum, increasing to 1,554,800 in February from 1,548,900 in January. Total employment was reported at 1,562,900 in February 2012.