The unemployment rate in Clay County climbed to 10.5% in April, showing how COVID-19 closures and related workforce changes have affected area jobs.
April’s rate is a significant increase from the 3.7% rate in March. Clay County’s unemployment rate in April 2019 was 2.7%.
Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said last week that April was the first month Iowa truly saw the impact COVID-19 has had on the state’s unemployment rate.
“We remain hopeful that as we reopen the state and more people return to work, the rate will decrease quickly and this unprecedented rate will be a very temporary one,” Townsend said.
Statistics from Iowa Workforce Development show Clay County has not been the hardest hit county in the region in terms of job loss.
Dickinson County had the highest April unemployment rate at 13.1%, followed by Palo Alto County at 10.8%.
Clay County’s rate last month is the third highest of its neighboring counties.
Here’s a look at other nearby counties’ April unemployment rates:
– Emmet County – 9.8%
– Cherokee County – 7.9%
– O’Brien County – 6.8%
– Osceola County – 6.3%
Iowa’s statewide unemployment rate for April 2020 was 10.2%. The national rate was 14.7%. Those rates are seasonally adjusted, though, while county rates are not.
A seasonally adjusted rate removes predictable employment gains and losses that occur each year, such as in the retail industry during the holiday season and in the construction and hospitality industries during summer months.
Statewide, the leisure and hospitality sector lost 68,500 jobs in April. Other sectors that saw the highest number of jobs lost included government (24,500); trade, transportation and utilities (22,700); education and health services (17,700); professional and businesses services (13,900); and manufacturing (10,600).
Feature image: Map of Iowa counties and unemployment rates. Source: Iowa Workforce Development