WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Unemployment Up in Lee County

Nov 20, 2012

The latest numbers from Iowa Workforce Development show why many in Lee County support the construction of a new fertilizer plant near Wever.

Iowa’s overall unemployment rate for Oct. 2012 sits at a seasonally-adjusted 5.1%.

It was 5.2% in Sept. of 2012 and 5.8% in Oct. 2011.

Iowa’s unemployment rate is nearly three percentage points lower than the national rate.

The news is not as good, though, for Lee County.

We desperately need the jobs that Iowa Fertilizer Company will create...

The county’s Oct. 2012 unemployment rate is 7.9%.  That’s down from the same time one year ago (8.5%) but up from Sept. 2012 (7.8%).

Lee County Supervisor Larry Kruse addressed the unemployment rate during the groundbreaking for Iowa Fertilizer Company’s new plant.

“We desperately need the jobs that Iowa Fertilizer Company will create,” says Kruse.  “2,500 construction jobs and 165 permanent jobs.  These are high quality jobs that will be available to the citizens of southeast Iowa.”

Lee County’s current unemployment rate is the highest in Iowa by more than one-percentage point, and that does not take into account the 400+ employees who lost their jobs in recent weeks at Siemens Energy’s Plant in Fort Madison.

Iowa Workforce Development reports that 15,440 Lee County residents were employed in October while 1,320 were out of work.

IWD’s report also shows that unemployment is up in Des Moines (5.8%) and Henry Counties (5.7%) and down in Van Buren County (5.6%).