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Ottumwa on track with nationwide job growth

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

By Heartland

OTTUMWA, IOWA -- 2014 has been the best year for nationwide job growth since 1999, and the Ottumwa area is seeing similar gains.

According to data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 321,000 jobs across the country were added in November.

The national unemployment rate is 5.8 percent, down 7 percent from this time last year.

In Wapello County, the unemployment rate is 5 percent, slightly under Iowa’s unemployment rate at 5.25 percent.

City leaders credit job growth to big projects like construction on Penn and Jeff, the downtown facades, and the upcoming construction on the former Saint Joes Hospital building.

"We are seeing a very good place for us to be as far as unemployment numbers are down, housing starts are up, people are buying big ticket items again, which are always indicative of a good economy," said Sharon Stroh, Economic Development Director.

Stroh says the area did see a rise in unemployment in September, but was most likely caused by seasonal jobs ending for the summer.

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