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DES MOINES, Iowa – The U.S. Department of Labor reported between Sunday, April 12, and Saturday, April 18, 27,912 people filed an initial unemployment insurance claim. Of that number, 26,192 initial claims were by individuals who work and live in Iowa, and 1,720 claims by individuals who work in Iowa but live out of state. 

Last week, there were 151,846 continuing unemployment insurance claims. Since Gov. Kim Reynolds’ initial public health emergency declaration on March 17 that closed businesses considered “non-essential,” 235,370 initial unemployment claims were filed. 

Last week’s numbers marked the second week of decline in initial claims down from 46,356 the previous week. A sign that some businesses can retain some employees with help from the Paycheck Protection Program, Iowa’s Small Business Grant program, as well as Reynolds not ordering additional businesses closed. 

A total of $48,091,551.28 in unemployment insurance benefits were paid to claimants for the same week, up $10.2 million from the previous week.

The following industries had the most claims: 

  • Manufacturing (5,143)
  • Health Care & Social Assistance (3,985)
  • Industry Not Available – Self-employed, Independent Contractors, etc. (3,817)
  • Retail Trade (3,307)
  • Accommodation & Food Services (2,606)

A total of $169,633,800 was paid to 253,557 Iowans in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits. Iowa began paying Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) weekly benefits during this past week, which are unemployment benefits paid to the self-employed. A total of $6,320,718 in PUA benefits were paid to 13,152 Iowans.

Total unemployment benefits paid to Iowa’s workforce surpassed $224 million last week. 

Iowans can visit www.IowaWorkorceDevelopment.gov to file their initial and weekly unemployment insurance claim. Employers or claimants with questions can email IWD at uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov. Individuals can call at 1-866-239-0843. IWD warns wait times can be lengthy. They state their website contains videos, webinars, FAQs, and other forms of assistance for all of the different types of claims and programs, such as the most updated information on the CARES Act benefits and payments.

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