Marion County’s unemployment rate has increased significantly for the second consecutive month. According to data recently released by Iowa Workforce Development, 8.7 percent of Marion County’s workforce was unemployed in February, up 1.1 percent from January’s unemployment rate. Kerry Koonce, Communications Director and Iowa Workforce Development tells KNIA/KRLS News that there were two primary reasons for the increase in unemployed workers in Marion County.
First, Koonce says more people recently joined the workforce, including college graduates that finished their educations in December or January. Secondly, Marion County also saw a reduction of jobs in the manufacturing sector by approximately 450 positions. Koonce says those trends are likely to level out in the future, and expects Marion County to see a reduction in its unemployment rate in the coming months.
Marion County’s 8.7 percent unemployed compares to the statewide average of 6.7 percent, which was a slight increase from the month of January. The national average remained at 9.7 percent for the month of February.