Iowa added more than 5,000 new nonfarm jobs in May, a healthy gain in the state’s efforts to recover from the last recession. Iowa Policy Project research associate Heather Gibney said the gain puts the state more than 18,000 jobs ahead of last year. However, Iowa’s job growth is not keeping up with its population growth.

“According to the Economic Policy Institute, Iowa’s population has increased 3.9 percent since the start of the recession, leaving the state 59,500 jobs short of what is needed to keep up with the population growth,” Gibney said in a news release.

Iowa averaged a monthly job gain of about 1,500 jobs over the past year. The growth in May was fueled by more job creation in professional and business services (3,000 jobs) and construction (2,000 jobs). The manufacturing industry remains the biggest gainer over the year, with a gain of 5,900 jobs.