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Newscast 12.21.23: Iowa's jobless rate up slightly; Nebraska raising its minimum wage over 5 years; Court may decide on injunction Friday in lawsuit over enforcement of LGBTQ school law

Iowa Workforce Development Jobs Report, December 21, 2023
Iowa Workforce Development
Iowa Workforce Development Jobs Report, December 21, 2023

The ACLU of Iowa has announced there will be a hearing Friday morning regarding the issuing a preliminary injunction in its lawsuit to temporarily block SF 496.

This lawsuit was filed against Iowa's new education law that bans books and prohibits materials and discussion of LGBTQ topics and people in public schools.

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased very slightly in November. It went from 3.1 percent to 3.3 percent, according to Iowa Workforce Development. https://workforce.iowa.gov/news/2023-12-21/iowas-unemployment-rate-increases-33-percent-november-despite-4700-new-jobs

Iowa’s labor force participation rate decreased to 68.1 percent in November and it was down slightly 0.3 percent. However, Iowa businesses gained 4,700 jobs. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent in November.

Beth Townsend, Executive Director of Iowa Workforce Development says there is a bright spot in the report. There has been an increase of over 1,000 jobs in health care, an industry that has struggled to find workers.
That industry is up 8,500 jobs in 2023, which will help ease some of the gaps created by the pandemic.

The number of unemployed Iowans increased to 57,200 in November from 56,000 in October.

Nebraska’s minimum wage will increase to $12 per hour effective January 1, 2024, according to the Nebraska Department of Labor. https://www.dol.nebraska.gov/PressRelease/Details/301/minimumwageincrease

In accordance with an initiative passed by voters in November of 2022, the minimum wage will increase $1.50 each year through 2026, followed by an annual cost of living increase beginning in 2027.

The minimum hourly wage for tipped employees is $2.13 per hour. Employers will be responsible for ensuring that wages and tips combined equal at least the minimum wage.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission says it has appointed Tina Eick as Interim Administrator of the Commission, following the resignation of long-time Administrator Brian Ohorilko. Ohorilko served 12 years in that position.

IRGC has posted the Administrator position and is accepting applicants through Dec. 31st. An appointment of the new Administrator is expected at the commission’s next regular meeting on January 25th.