Des Moines, Iowa — The number of ongoing unemployment claims have dropped for the eighth straight week.

Iowa Workforce Development reports ongoing claims dropped by four-thousand-233 in the last week. Continuing claims are now just under 72-thousand — which is well below the 189-thousand peak 19 weeks ago in May. The drop came despite an increase of nearly 57-hundred first-time unemployment claims last week.

As far as the unemployment rate, the four northwest Iowa counties continue to have among the lowest unemployment in the state. The latest figures available are for July, and that month, Lyon County had the lowest unemployment in the state at 3.1 percent. Sioux was next at 3.3 percent. Next was Mitchell County in northeast Iowa at 3.4. Osceola was next at 3.8. Shelby County was next at 4.0. O’Brien County was tied with Sac County for sixth place at 4.1 percent.

The statewide rate was 6.6 percent in July, which, after an expected high spike in the first few months of the year up to 10.8 percent, is already lower again than the unemployment rate at the height of the recession in March of 2009, when it was 7.0 percent.

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