Iowa’s February unemployment rate drops to 3.2 percent

Unemployment benefits (ThinkStock)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new report says Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.2 percent in February, its lowest level since 2001.

Iowa Workforce Development announced Friday that the rate was two-tenths of a point lower than the 3.4 percent in January and was down six-tenths of a point from 3.8 percent a year ago.

The national rate dropped to 4.7 percent last month from 4.8 percent in January.

Iowa now has the seventh-lowest unemployment rate in the country, according to the latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Illinois’ unemployment rate is 5.4 percent.

Agency director Beth Townsend says Iowa employers added 3,000 in the past month, led by education and health services.

The number of unemployed residents dropped to 53,600 in February from 56,900 in January. The current estimate is 10,600 lower than the year-ago level of 64,200.