DES MOINES, Iowa – The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday between Sunday, May 3, and Saturday, May 9, 16,735 people filed an initial unemployment insurance claim in Iowa. Of that number, 15,411 initial claims were by individuals who work and live in Iowa, and 1,324 claims by individuals who work in Iowa but live out of state. 

Last week, there were 191,257 continuing unemployment insurance claims. Since Gov. Kim Reynolds’ initial public health emergency declaration on March 17 that closed businesses considered “non-essential,” 305,625 initial unemployment claims were filed. 

There was a significant drop, 7,958, in initial unemployment claims last week compared to the previous week. The number of initial claims should decrease each week with businesses retaining some employees with help from the Paycheck Protection Program, Iowa’s Small Business Grant program. Also, as mitigation efforts are relaxed, more businesses can reopen. 

A total of $52,903,527.20 in unemployment insurance benefits were paid to claimants for the same week, up $1.97 million from the previous week.

The following industries had the most claims: 

  • Manufacturing (4,065)
  • Industry Not Available – Self-employed, Independent Contractors, etc. (2,103)
  • Health Care & Social Assistance (1,865)
  • Accommodation & Food Services (1,269)
  • Retail Trade (1,133)

A total of $108,219,000 was paid to 153,951 Iowans in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits. Since April 4, 2020, a total of $547,345,200 in benefits has been paid.

Iowa last week was in its fourth week paying Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) weekly benefits, which are unemployment benefits paid to the self-employed. A total of $7,010,336.34 in PUA benefits were paid to 13,075 Iowans.

Total unemployment benefits paid to Iowa’s workforce surpassed $158.9 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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