FILE - Now Hiring sign, unemployment, jobs

Iowa’s unemployment rate experienced a slight uptick in December, but ended the year and the decade better than the national rate.

Last month, the unemployment rate in the Hawkeye State jumped from 2.6 percent in November to its latest mark of 2.7 percent.

Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) reported that the figure increased along with the number of people with and without jobs statewide.

The December 2019 rate was up from 2.4 percent at the same time in 2018. Iowa and Alabama share the ninth-lowest unemployment rate.

The national unemployment rate in December was 3.5 percent.

November’s showing was essentially the same as that in October, according to IWD. The agency added that the 2.6 percent mark was itself a jump from the last summer figure of 2.5 percent.

According to IWD head Beth Townsend, there were roughly 1.8 million employed Iowans two months ago.

“The interest and need in growing our skilled workforce remains at an all-time high as our unemployment rate remains low and we continuously have more openings than people to fill them,” Townsend said.

November 2019 bore witness to Iowa’s first net decline in positions since last March.

The financial, professional and business services sectors dropped a collective 2,300 jobs in November despite the addition of 1,600 jobs in other sectors such as personal services and repairs, plus health care and social assistance.

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.