MASON CITY, Iowa - Good news on the job front: Iowa has the lowest unemployment rate in the entire country at 2.4%, according to the Iowa Workforce Development agency.
An additional 2,300 Iowans entered the workforce in December, making the total number of employed Iowans to 1,651,300, the most in history.
Gary Berkness is retired, but he's filling out applications for part-time work, something he's been doing for about six months now. He notes that he's coming across more full time openings as opposed to part time. In addition, many open positions need certain skills, which may require experience and schooling, something that may not be affordable for some applicants.
"There's no way you can get any training unless they are willing to train you first. There are schools to go to, but a lot of those are expensive. They're $3-4,000 dollars just to go through a training assist."
"I think the way it is right now, there's a lot of job openings, if you just have a want to work. You can't always get exactly what you want sometimes."
The number of Iowans who claimed unemployment benefits dipped below 100,000, the lowest it's been since 1998.
Minnesota's unemployment rate sits a little higher than Iowa's, at 2.8%, in a tie with Nebraska and Virginia. Alaska has the highest unemployment rate at 6.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.