Department of Numbers

Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Des Moines rose 0.1 percentage points in January 2020 to 2.6%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 0.2 percentage points lower than the Iowa rate. The unemployment rate in Des Moines peaked in May 2009 at 6.1% and is now 3.5 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 2.3% in August 2018, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.3 percentage points. You can also compare Des Moines unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate January 2020 Month/Month Year/Year
National 3.6% +0.1 -0.4
Iowa 2.8% 0.0 +0.1
Des Moines 2.6% +0.1 +0.2
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with January 2020 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 June 2009 at 19,616. There are now 9,955 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. From a recent trough of 8,206 in September 2018, the number of unemployed has now grown by 1,455. Des Moines employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Des Moines, Iowa) is also available.

Unemployed Persons January 2020 Month/Month Year/Year
Des Moines 9,661 +137 +1,285

Number of Unemployed Persons

Des Moines, Iowa Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Iowa
Unemployment Rate
Des Moines
Unemployment Rate
Des Moines
Unemployed
February
2020
3.5% 2.8%
January
2020
3.6% 2.8% 2.6% 9,661
December
2019
3.5% 2.8% 2.5% 9,524
November
2019
3.5% 2.8% 2.5% 9,362
October
2019
3.6% 2.8% 2.5% 9,188
September
2019
3.5% 2.8% 2.4% 9,092
August
2019
3.7% 2.8% 2.4% 9,061
July
2019
3.7% 2.7% 2.4% 8,912
June
2019
3.7% 2.7% 2.4% 8,679
May
2019
3.6% 2.7% 2.4% 8,530
April
2019
3.6% 2.7% 2.3% 8,460
March
2019
3.8% 2.7% 2.4% 8,445

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.