DES MOINES — Iowa's unemployment rate dropped to 3.6% in October, continuing a steady decline since it soared last spring because of lob losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the state reported Friday.

The October rate was down from 4.8% in September and a high of 11% in April, when many businesses halted operations as COVID-19 first swept through the country.

The unemployment rate has fallen even as coronavirus infection rates and deaths reach new highs in Iowa.


Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend called the declining rate "a ray of sunshine."

Iowa's unemployment rate is tied with South Dakota for third-lowest in the nation, behind Nebraska and Vermont.

The national unemployment rate for October was 6.9%