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Whiteman Comments on Unemployment Data

State labor figures for February revealed a mixed bag: steady unemployment, a slight change in the work force, and a gradual move in the right direction. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent from January to February, while total employment increased by more than 7,000 people. In December, 4.6 percent of Iowa residents were unemployed. "We're hoping that employment continues to rise," said CHARLES WHITEMAN, director of the Institute for Economic Research and professor of economics at the University of Iowa. "Everybody would like it to be happening faster than it is, but at least it is in the right direction." The numbers from Iowa Workforce Development follow the institute's economic forecast, which predicts an improved employment situation in Iowa in 2004 and 2005.

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