DES MOINES, IOWA (October 22, 2020)  The number of initial claims in Iowa, filed between Sunday, October 11, and Saturday, October 17, was 4,662. There were 4,019 initial claims by individuals who work and live in Iowa, and 643 claims by individuals who work in Iowa and live in another state. The number of continuing weekly unemployment claims was 41,967, a decrease of 4,442 from the previous week.

The US Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 4,192 (a decrease of 452) and continuing claims to 46,409 (a decrease of 168 for a total decrease of 620 overall). Iowa Workforce Development relies upon the weekly data released by the US Department of Labor to report its numbers and as such, adopts the revisions to the previously-published data.

Unemployment insurance benefit payments totaled $11,843,704.65. The following industries had the most claims:

  • Manufacturing (946)
  • Industry Not Available Self-employed, Independent Contractors, etc (819)
  • Health Care & Social Assistance (439)
  • Construction (369)
  • Retail Trade (288)

A total of $2,403,000 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits was paid, which were retroactive payments as the program ended July 25, 2020. Since April 4, 2020, a total of $1,616,289,343 in FPUC benefits has been paid.

A total of $3,814,182 was paid in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. Since April 13, 2020, a total of $132,425,732.89 in PUA benefits has been paid.

A total of $7,805,035.96 in benefits has been paid in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits. Since May 27, 2020, a total of $100,909,712.39 in PEUC benefits have been paid.

A total of $1,423,314.72 in benefits has been paid in State Extended Benefits, 2020. Since July 21, 2020, a total of $12,640,626.88 in Extended Benefits have been paid.

The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program ended after six weeks of benefits were approved by FEMA. Iowans whose unemployment is the result of the pandemic, and who are eligible for at least $100 in benefits each week, will qualify for up to a maximum of six weeks of $300 in additional weekly benefits. Since September 3, Iowa has paid a total of $152,583,600 in LWA benefits. More information can be found here:

Individuals who have exhausted the additional 13 weeks of PEUC benefits may be eligible for State Extended Benefits (EB) announced in June. Claimants should continue to file weekly claims so that their claims can be reviewed to determine eligibility for State EB. These benefits may provide eligible claimants up to an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits. Not everyone who qualified for PEUC will be eligible for State EB. More information is available here:

IWD has reinstated the work search requirement. Those who will be required to begin work searches will be notified by IWD. We have also posted updates on our website regarding this requirement. There are currently over 64,000 job-openings at Not all claimants will be required to begin work searches, including for example, those who are receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits due to a medical condition or lack of childcare.

IowaWORKS centers and satellite offices are providing limited in-person services to assist customers with work search activities. Basic services include assistance with job searches, applications, résumé preparation, and other services to help Iowans with their employment needs. Individuals should telephone their local office first to schedule an appointment as walk-in services may be limited in order to follow social distancing recommendations. Workshops and classes will not be offered at this time. Customers with questions regarding unemployment insurance benefits should continue to contact the IWD call center at 1-866-239-0843 or e-mail to obtain information about their claims.  

Employers are required to notify their employees about Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in accordance with Iowa Administrative Code Section 871-22.19. The requirement ensures that workers are aware of the benefits they may be eligible for if they become unemployed or experience a reduction in hours.

Employees and employers who have questions regarding returning to work should review the Frequently Asked Questions for each group on our website. Assistance for employers can be found here:

Employees can find assistance here:

For more information on the total data for this week’s unemployment claims, please visit

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