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Initial jobless claims up in Iowa up 14%, with benefits paid and continuing claims dropping again

Continuing claims for the week were 37,290, a decrease of 2,535 (6.37%) from the previous week.

4,964 initial unemployment claims were filed last week in Iowa, an increase of 613 (14.1%) from the previous week.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell slightly last week to 751,000, a still-historically high level that shows that many employers keep cutting jobs in the face of the accelerating pandemic.

4,478 initial claims for the week of Oct. 25-31 were by people who work and live in Iowa, while 486 by individuals who work in Iowa but live outside the state.

$10,416,685.95 in unemployment insurance benefits were paid out last week, a decrease of $930,576.30 (8.2%) from the previous week.

Continuing claims for the week were 37,290, a decrease of 2,535 (6.37%) from the previous week.

"November and December are traditionally a time where we see an increase in unemployment claims due to cooler weather and the end of harvest. Employers in construction, agriculture and landscaping often start to lay off their workforces," Workforce Development said in a release. "It is unclear if we will see manufacturing layoffs given slower production schedules this year. Thus, we may see an increase in unemployment benefit claims. 

"December through the end of February are historically the time we see the highest levels of unemployment."

The following industries had the most claims, according to Iowa Workforce Development:

  • Manufacturing (1,227)
  • Construction (693)
  • Industry Not Available - Self-employed, Independent Contractors, etc (593)
  • Health Care & Social Assistance (441)
  • Administrative, Support, Waste Management, and Remediation Services (294)

Additional data released for last week:

  • $1,629,000 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits paid, which were retroactive payments as the program ended July 25, 2020. Since April 4, 2020, a total of $1,618,468,033 in FPUC benefits has been paid.
  • $3,586,510.50 paid out in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. Since April 13, 2020, a total of $139,654,597.39 in PUA benefits has been paid.
  • $8,056,818.21 in benefits has been paid in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits. Since May 27, 2020, a total of $117,015,830.28 in PEUC benefits have been paid.
  • $1,532,251.87 was paid in State Extended Benefits (EB).  Since July 21, 2020, a total of $15,712,621.77 in State EB has been paid.

The United States Department of Labor has notified Iowa that due to the state's economic recovery, the State EB program will end the week ending October 31, 2020. EB cannot be paid to any claimant for weeks of unemployment after October 31, 2020, even if they have not yet received 13 weeks of EB. Those claimants who lose EB may be eligible for the PUA benefit program if they have remaining benefit weeks available in their current benefit year.  Claimants may apply for PUA at www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/pua-information.

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