Polk County lowers rate in November
The state’s Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said last Thursday that the unemployment rate in Polk County fell during November.
At the same time, Polk took monthly losses in number of employed residents and labor force. Most critical indicators were positive for the year, according to their release on Jan. 3.
The good unemployment news on the local level also coincided with December numbers on the federal level that show additional job growth and the rate down to 3.9 percent nationwide.
The announcement came as the first week of the year closed. Estimates are that 312,000 jobs were added as 2018 came to a close.
“As we move through this holiday season, it’s exciting to see our communities doing so well,” Butler said in the release. “While monthly numbers fluctuate, we continue to see long-term trends going in the right direction.”
The unemployment rate for November sat at 3.5 percent in Polk County. It was down 0.4 percent from October 2018 after numbers were adjusted. A year ago, the rate was 4.6 percent.
The labor force in Polk County slipped by 112 in November to reach 18,468, but not by much according to the release. That number is down only by two over the past year.
Polk County lost 40 employed residents in November, bringing the total to 17,823. The number is up 199 for the year, or about 15 per month.
Claims for unemployment insurance went up by 72 percent in November. They were up by 84 percent when compared to the same month a year ago.
According to the Associated Press, the jolt in hiring offers a dose of reassurance after a tumultuous few months as the outlook from the financial markets has turned decidedly bleaker. Job growth at this pace is a sign that the economy will continue to expand for a 10th straight year, even if overall growth slows somewhat because of the waning stimulus from President Donald Trump’s tax cuts.