Iowa’s unemployment continues to trend down in September

    The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a record number of Iowans filing for unemployment benefits. (Photo by Getty Images)

    Iowa workers filed 5,689 initial unemployment cases in the week ending Sept. 5, down 4% from the adjusted total of 5,914 for the previous week, Iowa Workforce Development reported.

    This comes as Iowa Workforce Development reinstates its work search requirement with exceptions for people who are on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, such as Iowans who are unable to find child care or have health complications.

    The federal government has also notified Iowa that its “Lost Wages Assistance” program has ended, which provides up to $300 in additional weekly benefits for a maximum of six weeks for unemployed Iowans through FEMA. President Donald Trump approved the $300 payments after the weekly $600 unemployment benefits ended.

    The end of the Lost Wages Assistance program comes as Senate Republicans are expected to vote on their new coronavirus relief bill on Thursday, according to Politico.

    In Iowa, 71,6444 people filed continuing weekly unemployment claims in the most recent week. That was down from an adjusted 75,877 the week before.

    The $20.2 million in benefits paid in Iowa included these industries with the most claims:

    • Manufacturing (1,311)
    • Self-employed, independent contractors (682)
    • Accommodation and food services (565)
    • Health care and social assistance (490)
    • Construction (385)

    Though Iowa’s unemployment numbers continue to trend down, Common Good Iowa, which released its labor report last week, argued it is because fewer Iowans are working and searching for jobs. Iowa Workforce Development’s unemployment numbers do not give the full picture of everyone who is out of work because it only includes people who are actively seeking a job.

    Linh Ta
    Reporter Linh Ta comes to Iowa Capital Dispatch from the Des Moines Register, where she covered trending news, public safety and the suburbs. Most recently, she has covered retail business and followed both national and local trends to provide insight about the issues that matter the most to Iowans. Beyond traditional journalism, Ta has worked as a speech coach with the Des Moines Storytellers Project with the goal of sharing the diverse perspectives of Iowans from all walks of life. She is the 2019 winner of the Young Iowa Journalist Award and the winner of an Iowa Broadcast News Award. Email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @linhmaita.