DES MOINES, IOWA (August 27, 2020) The number of initial claims in Iowa, filed between Sunday, August 16, and Saturday, August 22, was 6,954. There were 6,201 initial claims by individuals who work and live in Iowa, and 753 claims by individuals who work in Iowa and live in another state. The number of continuing weekly unemployment claims for August 16-22 was 84,248, an increase of 1,806 from the previous week. Workers impacted by the derecho on Aug. 10, who filed for unemployment benefits are counted in this week’s numbers, which may explain the increase in claims filed. For example, in Linn County, there were 1,668 initial claims filed compared to 411 initial claims filed the week before the storm.

The US Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number down to 5,997 (a decrease of 547) and continuing claims to 82,442 (a decrease of 1,168 for a total decrease of 1,715). 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 $23,295,591.51 for the week of August 16-22. The following industries had the most claims:

  • Manufacturing (1,897)
  • Industry Not Available - Self-employed, Independent Contractors, etc (849)
  • Health Care & Social Assistance (682)
  • Construction (439)
  • Accommodation & Food Services (409)

A total of $6,815,400 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits was paid during the week of August 16-22, 2020 which were retroactive payments as the program ended July 25, 2020. Since April 4, 2020, a total of $1,587,646,543 in FPUC benefits has been paid.

A total of $4,450,934 was paid in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits during the week of August 16-22, 2020.

A total of $4,437,295.05 in benefits has been paid in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits for the week of Aug. 16-22, 2020. Since May 27, 2020, a total of $51,796,857.72 in PEUC benefits have been paid.

A total of $861,920.18 in benefits has been paid in State Extended Benefits for the week of August 16-22, 2020. Since July 21, 2020, a total of $3,606,083.61 in Extended Benefits have been paid.

On August 14, 2020, FEMA approved Iowa’s application to participate in the “Lost Wages Assistance” program. Iowans whose unemployment is the result of the pandemic, and who are eligible for at least $100 in benefits each week, will qualify for an additional $300 in weekly benefits retroactive to the week ending August 1. FEMA and USDOL continue to issue guidance, and IWD will continue developing the implementation process required for this program. IWD will update its website as additional information becomes available.

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: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/state-extended-benefits

IWD waived the work search requirement from the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March and will reinstate the requirement beginning September 8, 2020. 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. 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 59,000 job openings at https://www.iowaworks.gov.

IowaWORKS centers and satellite offices will start providing limited in-person services on September 8, 2020, 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 email uiclaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov 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: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/sites/search.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/files/content-files/FAQs%20Employers%2008.05.20.pdf.

Employees can find assistance here: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/sites/search.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/files/content-files/FAQs%20Workers%2008.03.20.pdf.

For more information on the total data for this week’s unemployment claims, please visit https://www.iowalmi.gov/unemployment-insurance-statistics.

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