New figures out from Iowa Workforce Development show the unemployment rate in Washington County rose in the month of December. The month ended with a four-point-one percent rate. It had stayed steady for a couple months closer to three-and-a-half-percent.
Significantly more people filed for unemployment benefits. About fifty more people filed for benefits in December, bringing the total number to about 160. Most of those people were filing for the first time.
A lower unemployment rate is not necessarily an indication of economic health. Some economists believe that a three to five percent unemployment rate makes it easier for employers to find qualified workers in a particular area.