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Low state unemployment figure is positive sign

Iowa’s rate is much lower than rest of the nation

Iowa continues to get some good news on the jobs front as the state’s economy gradually rebounds from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In December 2020, the state’s unemployment rate stood at 3.1 percent.

That marks a healthy decline from the November 2020 unemployment rate of 3.8 percent.

Perhaps most significantly, the Iowa unemployment rate is well below the nationwide figure of 6.7 percent.

According to Iowa Workforce Development, 9,700 new non-farm jobs were created between November and December 2020. The retail sector led the way with 5,400 new jobs; manufacturing was next with 3,800 new jobs.

Clearly, things are starting to look up in Iowa. The drop in the unemployment rate tells us that people who lost their jobs in the darkest days of the pandemic last spring are getting back to work.

We must acknowledge that even with the unemployment rate dropping to 3.1 percent, there are still too many hard-working Iowans that need a job. Iowa Workforce Development calculated that there were 50,800 people looking for work in December.

But the release of this latest unemployment figure offers hope that better times are coming.

We believe it is difficult, if not impossible, to attribute this positive development to a single policy or decision. However, it is worth noting that Gov. Kim Reynolds and other state leaders have pursued a course of action that has kept most Iowa businesses open throughout the pandemic. That certainly helps to keep Iowa’s unemployment rate well below that of the nation.

We urge leaders in the private and public sectors to keep working together to get our economy out of the COVID-19 induced doldrums and back into a growth pattern that will benefit everyone.

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