The following editorial was published by the Fort Dodge Messenger on Oct. 30:
The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has been reflected in a series of discouraging statistics.
But Iowa recently got a bit of good news: The state’s unemployment rate has dropped and is well below the national figure.
According to Iowa Workforce Development, the state’s unemployment rate for September was 4.7%. That was down from 6% in August.
Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate for September was 7.9%.
Clearly, things are starting to look up in Iowa. The drop in the unemployment rate tells us that people who lost their jobs in the darkest days of the pandemic last spring are getting back to work.
There was an increase of 7,300 non-farm jobs in September, according to Iowa Workforce Development. The leisure and hospitality sector led the way with 4,100 jobs, with most of those in eating and drinking establishments. That means the cooks and servers who lost their jobs when restaurants closed are now coming back to work.
The manufacturing sector did well also, adding 2,100 jobs in the month.
We must acknowledge that even with the unemployment rate dropping to 4.7%, there are still too many hard-working Iowans that need a job.
But the release of this latest unemployment figure offers hope that better times are coming.
We urge leaders in the private and public sectors to work together to get our economy out of the COVID-19 induced doldrums and back into a growth pattern that will benefit everyone.
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