FILE - Des Moines, Iowa, skyline

Des Moines, Iowa, skyline

Iowa’s unemployment rate stood at 2.4 percent in June, marking the 12th month that the state’s jobless rate has remained at the 2.4 percent level, according to Iowa Workforce Development (IWD).

In contrast, the national unemployment rate rose slightly, to 3.7 percent, last month.

“Iowa continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country as a result of lower taxes, less regulations and a strong emphasis on pro-growth policies,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a prepared statement. “Our strong labor market has allowed us to partner with our employers to train, skill and re-skill our state’s workforce in order to expand opportunities for Iowans.”

Beth Townsend, director of IWD, said Iowa job seekers now have additional opportunities to help them successfully enter or re-enter the job market. These include the Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarships for those seeking new job skills, Townsend said.

The state is also trying to attract skilled workers from other states through programs such as Home Base Iowa and This Is Iowa.

“June marks a milestone for Iowa’s historically low unemployment rate, making this the twelfth consecutive month of 2.4 percent unemployment,” Townsend said in a prepared statement. “Additionally, Iowa experienced positive growth with 5,600 new jobs.”

Year-to-year comparisons of data released by the IWD this month were also mostly positive. Iowans classified as unemployed in June numbered 41,400, compared to 42,200 a year ago. And the number of Iowa residents who were employed in June was 1,676,700 – an increase of 33,400 over June of 2018.

The IWD report provided data on different sectors of the Iowa economy. In June, manufacturers added 2,000 jobs, which was the most of any sector. And in the second quarter of 2019, the construction industry grew by 3,500 jobs in Iowa, IWD said.

In contrast, companies in the professional and business services category lost 1,300 jobs in June.

During the same month, however, private companies increased employment by 3,800 jobs, while government jobs in the state expanded by 1,500.

Overally, Iowa businesses expanded the jobs base in the state by 10,400 over the past year, according to the report.