Shannon Landauer
Shannon Landauer

June 14, 2017

Carroll County’s unemployment rate fell to 2 percent for April, one of the lowest rates of any county in Iowa, and well below the national average, according to figures released by Iowa Workforce Development.

Local development officials say anyone who wants a job in Carroll County has choices. What’s more, the shallow labor pool is confounding growth in Carroll, say key business leaders.

For example, Dave Quandt, American Home Shield’s vice president for field operations, said one of the major issues for the Carroll branch of 450 employees is the low unemployment rate. AHS could hire up to another 100 employees in Carroll today if the right people were available for the jobs, Quandt said.

Other Carroll County business leaders echoed Quandt’s observations recently in private conversations in Carroll with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and in meetings last week with legislators and Commerce Department officials in Washington, D.C.

“Workforce needs to be a priority across the board from entry level to professional,” said Shannon Landauer, executive director of the Carroll Area Development Corporation.

Landauer says there is true urgency in Carroll County on lack of available employees.

“That means there has to be some investment into the community,” Landauer said. “There has been to a decision to grow.”

Carroll County posted the sixth-lowest unemployment rate in Iowa for April, tying at 2 percent with Ida and Osceola counties.

The five Iowa counties with lower rates for April were: Lyon, 1.5 percent; Sioux and Story at 1.7 percent; and Dallas and Taylor at 1.9 percent.

Unemployment rates for Carroll-area counties in April stood at: Audubon, 2.9 percent; Calhoun, 2.9 percent; Crawford, 4.1 percent; Greene, 2.7 percent; Guthrie, 3.1 percent; Sac, 2.5 percent; and Shelby. 2.3 percent.

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 3.1 percent in April. The state’s jobless rate was 3.8 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent in April.

“The Iowa economy provided little clue in terms of long-term trend in April, with slight change in most economic measures,” said Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development director. “There was another small decrease in total nonfarm employment for the state, a possible sign that businesses are a little more apprehensive about hiring to begin the summer season compared to previous years. This was particularly true in construction which is down slightly compared to last year’s record highs.”

The number of unemployed Iowans remained at 52,100 in April. The current estimate is 11,900 lower than the year-ago level of 64,000.

The total number of working Iowans decreased to 1,640,000 in April. This figure was 200 lower than March and 3,300 higher than one year ago.

The Western Iowa Advantage Region’s monthly unemployment rate decreased to 2.9 percent in April 2017 from 3.6 percent in April 2016, according to figures released from Iowa Workforce Development. Iowa’s unemployment rate was 3.1 percent in April 2017 from a revised 3.9 percent in April 2016. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in April 2017. Total employment in the region decreased to 38,082 in April 2017 from 39,600 in April 2016.

Western Iowa Advantage tracks various economic indicators in Adair, Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Guthrie, Greene and Sac counties in Iowa, including employment trends.