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Iowa's economy has recovered about half the jobs it lost from the immediate shock of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state's unemployment rate dropped to 6.6% in July from 8.4% the month earlier, according to survey data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday morning. The survey indicates that the state added about 29,300 jobs last month.

From February to April, as businesses and schools shut down in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the state lost 185,800 jobs. In the three months after that economic freeze, Iowa has added back about 93,100 jobs.

At 6.6%, Iowa's July unemployment rate was the seventh-lowest in the country. At the same time, the rate matches what Iowa experienced in the spring and summer of 2009, the worst dip for the state in the aftermath of last decade's Great Recession.

"It is much better for our economic recovery if Iowa can move people off of unemployment and back into full-time jobs,” Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said in a statement on Friday morning.

The industries that added the most jobs in Iowa from June to July were local government (added 7,500), accommodation and food services (added 6,700) and health services (added 3,900).

However, these three industries have still lost the most of any in Iowa since the pandemic began. Other industries with significant losses include arts, entertainment and recreation; durable goods manufacturing; administration and support; and retail trade.

Tyler Jett covers jobs and the economy for the Des Moines Register. Reach him at tjett@registermedia.com, 515-284-8215, or on Twitter at @LetsJett.

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