The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

March 22, 2014

State, Clinton's unemployment rate drops

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — January unemployment in Iowa dropped nearly one full point from a year ago, falling from 5 percent in 2013 to 4.3 percent in 2014.

The seasonally adjusted numbers show the current estimate of unemployed Iowans is 11,800 below last year’s level of 83,500. However, the number of unemployed state residents increased in January to 71,700 from 71,000 in December because of elevated holiday hiring.

Unemployment in January for the city of Clinton also plummeted from 6.9 percent one year ago, to 5.8 percent in 2014, accounting for 790 out of Clinton’s 13,640 member workforce without jobs.

With January’s unemployment numbers recording the lowest percent since January 2008, Clinton sits near the middle of 15 comparable micropolitan areas in the number of unemployed residents.

Boone recorded the lowest percentage at 4.2 in January for Iowa micropolitan areas, with 660 people unemployed out of a 15,770 member workforce. Fort Madison-Keokuk recorded the highest unemployment rate for Iowa micropolitan areas at 8.1 percent.

Clinton County also faired well in unemployment numbers compared to a year ago with a drop from 6.8 in January 2013, to 6.1 percent in January 2014, but suffered a major jump from December’s 4.9 percent.

However, December’s unemployment number does not account for seasonal hiring which Kerry Koonce of the Iowa Workforce Development said affects that percentage to some degree.

The national unemployment average is also the lowest since October 2008, inching down from 6.8 percent in December 2013 to 6.7 percent in January.

The state’s total number of working Iowans continued to trend upward in January, reaching 1,606,100 —1,300 higher than December, and 21,600 higher than one year ago.