Iowa's unemployment rate fell for the third month in a row in May, dropping to 4.6 percent, while Nebraska's rate ticked up to 3.8 percent, the state hanging on to its position as second lowest in the country.
Iowa's rate is down from 5.3 percent a year ago May. Nonfarm jobs grew last month by 5,300, to a total just 4,100 jobs below the state's all-time high of 1.53 million.
“The Iowa job market picked up momentum in May, as businesses added more jobs than anticipated,” Iowa Workforce Development director Teresa Wahlert said.
Nebraska's rate is down from 4.0 percent a year ago May. The increase from 3.7 percent April was partly due to “discouraged job seekers” re-entering the labor force, Labor Commissioner Cathy Lang said. The number of employed people grew 0.1 percent to 998,148 while the number of unemployed grew 2.1 percent to 39,440.
She said nonfarm employment rose by 14,322 jobs in the month, with the biggest gains in leisure and hospitality; professional and business services; and trade, transportation and utilities.