DES MOINES, IOWA (December 10, 2020) The number of initial unemployment claims in Iowa, filed between Sunday, November 29, and Saturday, December 5, was 10,747, an increase of 5,390 from last week’s adjusted numbers. There were 9,785 initial claims by individuals who work and live in Iowa, and 962 claims by individuals who work in Iowa and live in another state. The number of continuing weekly unemployment claims was 43,121, an increase of 9,409 from the previous week. The increase in initial and continuing claims was due primarily to construction and manufacturing claims from Thanksgiving week that were filed last week and were not unexpected. November through February are typically the months IWD sees the most unemployment claims, driven by increased claims in construction, agriculture, landscaping and manufacturing due to seasonal layoffs. For the week ending December 5, 2020, nearly 59.3% of claimants indicated their claims were not COVID-19 related, which is an increase from 53.2% the previous week.

The US Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 5,357 (a decrease of 236) and continuing claims to 33,712 (a decrease of 466 for a total decrease of 702 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.

Due to Governor Kim Reynolds’ recent Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, IowaWORKS Centers will temporarily cease providing in-person services. Customers are encouraged to log onto or the mobile application to continue their work search activities. Further assistance can also be received by visiting the website or calling customer service.

For the week ending December 5, 2020, unemployment insurance benefit payments totaled $12,564,372.83. The following industries had the most claims:

  •     Construction (2,501)
  •     Manufacturing (1,293)
  •     Industry Not Available Self-employed, Independent Contractors, etc (1,036)
  •     Accommodation and Food Services (960)
  •     Administrative, Support, Waste Management, and Remediation Services (891)

A total of $1,449,000 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 $1,624,787,233 in FPUC benefits has been paid.

A total of $4,030,551.50 was paid in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. Since April 13, 2020, a total of $157,890,950.04 in PUA benefits has been paid.

A total of $8,509,033.75 in benefits has been paid in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits. Since May 27, 2020, a total of $157,661,323.17 in PEUC benefits have been paid.

A total of $52,456.10 was paid in State Extended Benefits (EB).  Since July 21, 2020, a total of $17,614,481.97 in State EB has been paid. The United States Department of Labor notified Iowa that due to our economic recovery, the State EB program ended 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

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 68,000 job openings at 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.

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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