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Update on Unemployment

January 22, 2010

Iowa finally received some good news regarding unemployment.

Iowa Unemployment Rate (Seasonally Adjusted) 1976-2009

Unemployment fell to a tenth of a percent to 6.6 percent. The fall is minor and isn’t statistically significant (more on that in a minute). But it reversed an unsettling trend and Iowa actually added a thousand workers in the labor force. Earlier I  mentioned that Iowans still seem to be uncomfortable in the labor market, but at least 1,000 new workers are back (or newly) in the workforce. Let’s hope it keeps up.

Statistical Significance

Calculating unemployment does not come from unemployment claims. Instead, the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics conducts an annual survey called the Current Population Survey. It’s a sample of households, thus, there is some margin of error. The difference in the unemployment rate wasn’t statistically significant. So it could just be “noise” in the data set and there may have not been any real change. It was a statistically significant change, I didn’t notice it at first glance.

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