FILE - factory, manufacturing jobs, employment

In addition to a slight bump in the state’s unemployment rate to 2.7 percent in December from 2.6 percent in November, payroll jobs have declined for the second consecutive month, Iowa Workforce Development reported.

According to IWD’s preliminary figures, nonfarm jobs dropped by 3,100 to 1,591,000. Seven out of 11 major job categories reported declines in the last month of the year.

Two sectors that enjoyed the largest job increases were construction at 1,500 and leisure and hospitality at 1,200. The manufacturing sector had the largest decline of December, losing 1,400 jobs. Trade and transportation and professional and business services also saw declines.

Mike Owen, executive director of the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project, acknowledged that 2019 “was not a good one for Iowa jobs.”

The national unemployment rate in December was 3.5 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report on Jan. 24 stating that Iowa and its Midwest neighbors – Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Missouri – are among the 13 states in which unemployment rates rose last year.

Despite the short rise in unemployment, a Creighton University survey revealed that the state’s economy improved slightly last month.