Unemployment rate much higher than Reynolds Administration estimate

A statement by Senator Herman C. Quirmbach, D-Ames:

Today’s press release from the Reynolds Administration on Iowa unemployment dramatically underrepresents the actual situation in Iowa.  While the release claims Iowa unemployment is 3.6%, a more accurate unemployment number is 10.3%.  

“Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) reported this October that the number of ‘unemployed’ Iowans was 58,500.  However, IWD only counts people who have lost their jobs as ‘unemployed’ if they are still looking for work.  Not counted by IWD are another 121,500 Iowans out of a job over the last 12 months who have given up trying to find a job.  Added together, the actual number of Iowans who are unemployed relative to a year ago is 180,000, three times the 58,500 Iowans currently reported by IWD.

“When we include all the Iowans out of a job over the last year, Iowa’s actual unemployment rate is 10.3%, and the actual number of Iowans who have lost their jobs is approximately 180,000.

“The picture is equally bleak looking at the employment side.  Compared to a year ago, there were 130,800 fewer jobs in Iowa this October.  That’s 130,800 fewer paychecks to pay the rent or mortgage, to put food on the table, to pay medical bills, or to pay for heat this winter.  Christmas is going to be thin this year for those 130,800 Iowa families.

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Senator Quirmbach holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton and taught as an economics professor at ISU for 29 years.