Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Carroll County’s unemployment rate decreased to 3.5 percent in July, down from 3.7 percent the month earlier, according to figures released by Iowa Workforce Development.

The July rate ranked as the fourth-lowest in Iowa, with Carroll County trailing only Lyon County, 2.7 percent; Shelby County, 3.4 percent; and Mills County, 3.2 percent.

Iowa’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent for July, and the national rate stood at 8.3 percent.

Carroll County’s unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in July 2011.

Rates are generally lower west of Interstate 35 in the Hawkeye State.

Carroll County is continuing to grow its economy, said Carroll Area Development Corp. executive director Jim Gossett.

“What has remained constant is that Carroll County ranks very low in unemployment rates in the state, workers continue to choose Carroll County employers, and Carroll County realizes job growth as a result,” Gossett said.

At a Carroll Rotary Club meeting Monday at the Carrollton Centre, members of that organization questioned Gossett about challenges the relatively low unemployment rate poses with attracting new businesses. Gossett said the low rate is a factor that can be overcome with specific data on the reach of the Carroll labor market and through existing industry surveys, which help the business community craft strategies to draw employees.

Area county unemployment rates for July were as follows: Audubon, 4.8 percent; Crawford, 4.2 percent; Greene, 5.3 percent; Guthrie, 5.1 percent; and Sac, 3.9 percent.

The Western Iowa Advantage region’s unemployment number moved to 4.2 percent in July, down from 4.5 percent in July 2011.

Western Iowa Advantage tracks various indicators in Adair, Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie, Ida and Sac counties.