Iowa's unemployment rate is down, according to figures released this week. But a look at local counties shows a more complex picture.
Iowa Workforce Development said the state's unemployment rate hit 5.1 percent in October, down from 5.2 percent in September. But the drop was not uniform. Appanoose and Marion counties saw increases in their unemployment rates, while Jefferson and Wapello counties saw drops of more than a percentage point. Mahaska County didn't budge, staying at 4.5 percent unemployment.
Ottumwa unemployment stands out among Iowa cities. The official figures show an unemployment rate of 7.0 percent in October, well above other Iowa cities. Davenport's 6.5 percent was second.
But Ottumwa's rate is actually a significant drop month-to-month. In September the rate stood at 8.2 percent, fully two percentage points higher than any other Iowa county listed in the report.