Department of Numbers

Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Des Moines rose 0.4 percentage points in January 2021 to 3.8%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 0.2 percentage points higher than the Iowa rate. The unemployment rate in Des Moines peaked in April 2020 at 12.0% and is now 8.2 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 3.4% in December 2020, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.4 percentage points. You can also compare Des Moines unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate January 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
National 6.3% -0.4 +2.8
Iowa 3.6% -0.1 +0.8
Des Moines 3.8% +0.4 +1.1
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with January 2021 data as February metro level unemployment data has not yet been released.

Unemployment Rate: Des Moines, Iowa, National

Des Moines, Iowa monthly unemployment rate chart

Note: Recessions shown in gray.

Des Moines, Iowa Unemployed

The number of people unemployed in Des Moines peaked in April 2020 at 44,142. There are now 31,039 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. From a recent trough of 11,372 in December 2020, the number of unemployed has now grown by 1,731. Des Moines employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Des Moines, Iowa) is also available.

Unemployed Persons January 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
Des Moines 13,103 +1,731 +2,980

Number of Unemployed Persons

Des Moines, Iowa Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Iowa
Unemployment Rate
Des Moines
Unemployment Rate
Des Moines
Unemployed
March
2021
6.0%
February
2021
6.2% 3.6%
January
2021
6.3% 3.6% 3.8% 13,103
December
2020
6.7% 3.7% 3.4% 11,372
November
2020
6.7% 3.9% 3.9% 13,092
October
2020
6.9% 4.2% 3.8% 13,059
September
2020
7.8% 4.7% 5.1% 17,698
August
2020
8.4% 5.3% 6.8% 23,352
July
2020
10.2% 6.1% 7.3% 25,247
June
2020
11.1% 7.1% 9.3% 32,208
May
2020
13.3% 8.3% 11.2% 39,837
April
2020
14.8% 11.1% 12.0% 44,142

1. Metro area unemployment rates are now seasonally adjusted. The BLS has started publishing smoothed seasonally adjusted metropolitan area data which makes comparisons to state and national data more relevant than the unadjusted numbers.