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Iowa unemployment update: Workforce Development says derecho could be the reason for uptick in claims

$23,295,591.51 in unemployment insurance benefits were paid out last week.

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6,954 initial unemployment claims were filed last week in Iowa, an increase of 957 (15.98%) from the previous week, according to Iowa Workforce Development.

Just over 1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that the coronavirus outbreak continues to threaten jobs even as the housing market, auto sales and other segments of the economy rebound from a springtime collapse.

"Workers impacted by the derecho on Aug. 10, who filed for unemployment benefits are counted in this week’s numbers, which may explain the increase in claims filed," IWD said in a release. "For example, in Linn County, there were 1,668 initial claims filed compared to 411 initial claims filed the week before the storm."

6,201 initial claims for the week of Aug. 16-22 were by people who work and live in Iowa, while 753 by individuals who work in Iowa but live outside the state.

$23,295,591.51 in unemployment insurance benefits were paid out last week.

Continuing claims for the week were 84,248, an increase of 1,806 (2.19%) from the previous week.

The following industries had the most claims, according to IWD:

  • Manufacturing (1,897)
  • Industry Not Available - Self-employed, Independent Contractors, etc. (849)
  • Health Care & Social Assistance (682)
  • Construction (439)
  • Accommodation & Food Services (409)

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Aug. 8 allowing extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits. Under this order, the federal government will pay eligible unemployed Americans an extra $300 a week. 

States are able to choose to pay an additional $100, but Iowa opted not to.

Due to this, Iowans must receive at least $100 a week in state benefits to qualify for the $300 in federal funds.

RELATED: Unemployed Iowans wondering when they'll see extra $300 in benefits

Additional data released for last week:

  • $6,815,400 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) paid out, which were retroactive payments as the program ended July 25, 2020. Since April 4, 2020, $1,587,646,543 in FPUC benefits have been paid.
  • $4,450,934 paid in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits
  • $4,437,295.05 in benefits paid in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). Since May 27, 2020, a total of $51,796,857.72 in PEUC benefits have been paid. 
  • $861,920.18 in paid in State Extended Benefits for the week of Aug. 16-22. $3,606,083.61 in Extended Benefits have been paid since July 21, 2020.

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RELATED: Iowa unemployment rate drops to 6.6% in July

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