January unemployment rate adjusted down to 3%

DES MOINES — The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics did some tweaking of Iowa’s unemployment numbers at the end of the year leading to a revised rate for January of 3%.

Iowa Workforce Development director Beth Townsend says it’s something they do every year. The January unemployment rate was first announced at 3.2% until it was revised down. Townsend says that’s positive news. “It tells us that we stayed consistent in January from December, which is a good sign that it didn’t increase because, you know, the winter months in Iowa are generally the months that we see less activity in the workforce, just because, you know, we’re a seasonal state,” Townsend says.

The number of people in the workforce dropped down slightly in January. “We saw trade and transportation shed jobs, but we did see an increase in January and construction jobs. They gained 600 jobs in the month, and they’re up over the course of the year by 2,700. So that’s good news,” she says.

Unemployment numbers for February will be out next week, giving more information on how the year is starting out. “We’ll have much more context for these January numbers based on what we see in February,” Townsend says. The state’s unemployment rate was slightly lower one year ago in January at 2.9%.

The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 3.7% in January.