DES MOINES, IOWA (October 29, 2020) — The number of initial claims in Iowa, filed between Sunday, October 18, and Saturday, October 24, was 4,791. There were 4,196 initial claims by individuals who work and live in Iowa, and 595 claims by individuals who work in Iowa and live in another state. The number of continuing weekly unemployment claims was 39,615, a decrease of 2,488 from the previous week.
The US Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 4,215 (a decrease of 447) and continuing claims to 42,103 (an increase of 136 for a total decrease of 311 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.
November and December are traditionally a time where we see an increase in unemployment claims. Often tied to cooler weather and the end of harvest, employers in construction, agriculture, and landscaping start to lay off their workforce. 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.
For the week ending October 24, 2020, unemployment insurance benefit payments totaled $11,347,262.25. The following industries had the most claims:
- Manufacturing (912)
- Industry Not Available — Self-employed, Independent Contractors, etc (729)
- Construction (587)
- Health Care and Social Assistance (435)
- Accommodation and Food Services (284)
A total of $1,965,600 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 $1,618,254,943 in FPUC benefits has been paid.
A total of $3,642,354 was paid in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. Since April 13, 2020, a total of $136,068,086.89 in PUA benefits has been paid.
A total of $8,049,299.68 in benefits has been paid in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits. Since May 27, 2020, a total of $108,959,012.07 in PEUC benefits have been paid.
A total of $1,539,743.02 was paid in State Extended Benefits (EB). Since July 21, 2020, a total of $14,180,369.90 in State EB has been paid. The United States Department of Labor has notified Iowa that due to our 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.
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, 2020, Iowa has paid a total of $153,239,100 in LWA benefits. More information can be found here: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/lost-wages-assistance.
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 almost 70,000 job openings at https://www.iowaworks.gov. Not all claimants will be required to begin work searches, including for example, those who are receiving PUA 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain information about their claims.
Free access to Coursera classes for Iowans will end on Saturday, October 31. Individuals enrolled in courses before that time will have until December 31, 2020 to complete the courses. More information can be found here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeB9m0xubytHnnisplfQZNVfOLv1t-Kg556r14iJITgNUP9qw/viewform.
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: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/sites/search.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/files/content-files/FAQs%20Employers%2009.3.20.pdf.
Employees can find assistance here: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/sites/search.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/files/content-files/FAQs%20Workers%2009.10.20.pdf.
For more information on the total data for this week’s unemployment claims, please visit https://www.iowalmi.gov/unemployment-insurance-statistics.