Clinton County’s unemployment rate jumped from 6.6 percent to 7.3 percent from December to January, according to statistics released by Iowa Workforce Development (IWD).

The state’s total unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent from 5.6 percent in that same time frame.

“The Iowa economy is improving,” said Teresa Wahlert, IWD director, in a statement. “The state’s unemployment rate has been tracking downward rapidly since fourth quarter 2011, as the recovery picked up speed. Newly revised figures for 2011 show that the statewide unemployment rate averaged 5.9 percent in 2011, which was the sixth-lowest rate in the nation.”

The biggest hiring increases came from the manufacturing sector, which added 3,500 jobs in January.

Leisure and hospitality jobs were up by about 3,200.

Jobs in education and health services took the hardest hit in January, losing 2,500 jobs.

A statement from IWD attributes that loss to a seasonal drop in education services, which should rebound next month.

From a year ago, manufacturing jobs are up by 11,800.

Construction jobs have increased by 3,100 since last year as well.

The biggest decrease in employment over the past year came from the government sector, which lost 4,000 jobs.

These losses were primarily state positions, according to the release.

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