FEWER WORKERS: Iowa’s Labor Force Shrinking

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Iowa’s unemployment rate has dropped, but the numbers show there are also fewer people in the workforce.  The unemployment rate in Iowa is down to 5%, much lower than the U.S. rate of 7.9%.  But numbers provided by Iowa Workforce Development show, despite the lower rate, the state’s labor force has shrunk by 24,000 workers in the past year.  Experts stress, that doesn’t necessarily mean 24,000 people have given up on finding a job.

"So if you`ve gone to school and you`re not looking for a job, if you`re retired you`re no longer part of the labor force." Kerry Koonce with Iowa Workforce Development explains, "If you`ve migrated out of the state you`re no longer part of the labor force."

According to Iowa workforce development, total non-farm employment increased by 3,700 jobs in January.