DES MOINES – The number of initial unemployment claims in Iowa, filed between Sunday, Dec. 27, and Saturday, Jan. 2, was 8,236, an increase of 1,095 from last week’s adjusted numbers. There were 7,628 initial claims by individuals who work and live in Iowa, and 608 claims by individuals who work in Iowa and live in another state. The number of continuing weekly unemployment claims was 43,901, an increase of 5,878 from the previous week. 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 Jan. 2, 2021, nearly 68.6% of claimants indicated their claims were not COVID-19 related, which is a decrease from 70.6% the previous week.
The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 7,141 (a decrease of 320) and continuing claims to 38,023 (a decrease of 698 for a total decrease of 1,018 overall). Iowa Workforce Development relies upon the weekly data released by the U.S. Department of Labor to report its numbers and as such, adopts the revisions to the previously published data.
On Dec. 27, 2020, the President signed into law extensions for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs which were set to end December 26th. IWD will therefore be able to prevent a gap in payments for either of these programs and individuals currently receiving benefits from the programs will continue to receive them without interruption. IWD continues to await complete guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) before Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits and new applications for PUA and PEUC benefits filed after December 27th can be paid. IWD anticipates the complete guidance will be received within the next few weeks.