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Iowa’s unemployment rate drops to 3.6% in October


DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- Iowa's unemployment rate dropped by a little more than one percent in October as the state continues to recover from COVID-19-related job losses.

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent in October according to Iowa Workforce Development. The U.S. jobless rate was 6.9 percent in October. The state's jobless rate was 2.8 percent in October 2019. Iowa's unemployment rate is tied with South Dakota's for the third-lowest in the country, behind Vermont's (3.2%) and Nebraska's (3%).

"We have to balance fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with a targeted approach that protects lives while also keeping our economy open and our kids safely in the classroom," Governor Kim Reynolds said. "This good economic news is a reflection of Iowans’ resiliency, our ability to innovate, and work together to protect each other."

"The drop in the unemployment rate in October is a ray of sunshine and demonstrates that Iowa continues to recover economically from the effects of the pandemic," Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said. "As we enter the traditional time of higher unemployment due to seasonal layoffs, it's important to note that employers are still looking for employees and there are over 72,000 openings posted on"

The number of unemployed Iowans declined to 58,500 in October, down from 78,700 in September. The current estimate is 129,500 lower than the COVID-19 peak in April of 188,000 and only 9,200 higher than the year ago level of 49,300.

The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,574,300 in October. That's 15,200 higher than September’s number of 1,559,100 and 49,700 higher than in April. Iowa’s peak unemployment rate during the pandemic was 11.0 percent in April, according to a press release from IWD and now has fallen by 7.4 percentage points.

More information on Iowa's latest unemployment numbers can be found here.

Trevor Oates

Executive Producer

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