Des Moines, Iowa — Numbers out this past week showed Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped below three percent in February.

Iowa Workforce Development director, Beth Townsend, says that’s one of the positives for the state.

She says the participation rate is important as they have been working to get more people back into the workforce.

Townsend says manufacturing added 700 jobs in February.

Townsend says leisure and hospitality jobs are up almost 45 hundred jobs over the course of the year, and the service industries had the biggest increase in jobs this past month.

The construction industry did lose 16 hundred jobs in February — which Townsend says is probably related to bad weather. She says they expect to see the industry gain back jobs as the weather improves and more projects get underway outside.

Closer to home, the latest numbers for county-by-county unemployment are the January figures. And for the first time in recent memory, Osceola County has the lowest unemployment in the state, beating out even Lyon and Sioux counties. January unemployment in Osceola County was a mere 1.8 percent. Unemployment was still pretty low in the other three counties in our coverage area, but many other counties elsewhere in the state had similar or lower figures. O’Brien County’s unemployment was at 2.9 percent, Sioux’s was at 2.7 percent, and Lyon’s was at 2.6 percent.

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