DES MOINES, IOWA (August 21, 2020) The number of initial claims in Iowa, filed between Sunday, August 9, and Saturday, August 15, was 6,544. There were 5,828 initial claims by individuals who work and live in Iowa, and 716 claims by individuals who work in Iowa and live in another state. The number of continuing weekly unemployment claims for August 9-15 was 83,610, a decrease of 8,490 from the previous week. 

The US Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim-number down to 4,891 (a decrease of 391), and continuing claims to 92,100 (a decrease of 753 for a total decrease of 1,144). 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 $23,465,906.17 for the week of August 9-15. The following industries had the most claims: 

  • Manufacturing (1,664)

  • Industry Not Available Self-employed, Independent Contractors, etc (887)

  • Health-Care and Social Assistance (608)

  • Construction (449)

  • Accommodation & Food Services (429)

A total of $7,881,600 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits was paid during the week of August 9-15, 2020 which were retroactive payments as the program ended July 25, 2020. Since April 4, 2020, a total of $1,580,831,143 in FPUC benefits has been paid.

A total of $4,412,626 was paid in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits during the week of August 9-15, 2020.

A total of $3,912,116.39 in benefits has been paid in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits for the week of August 9-15, 2020. Since May 27, 2020, a total of $47,359,562.67 in PEUC 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. Since the announcement of the program approval, IWD has seen an increase in initial and continuing claims as awareness of the benefits became more widely-known, and we anticipate this will be reflected in increased claim numbers next week.

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 had previously waived the work search requirement since the beginning of the pandemic but this requirement will be reinstituted on 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 58,000 job-openings at https://www.iowaworks.gov.    

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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