New claims for jobless benefits are on the rise again

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    The number of newly filed claims for unemployment rose in Iowa last week as businesses around the state adjusted to a recent increase in COVID-19 infections.

    The number of new claims filed for the week ending July 4, was 10,698, a 38% percent increase over the previous week’s 7,732 new claims.

    The previous week’s total was initially reported by Iowa Workforce Development as 8,542 but, as is customary, was adjusted downward by the U.S. Department of Labor. It’s expected that the latest numbers will also be adjusted downward.

    The number of ongoing, continuing claims for unemployment stood at 135,177 for the week ending July 4, which was down from the previous week’s adjusted total of 141,748.

    Unemployment insurance benefit payments totaled $31.9 million for the week ending July 4.

    The following industries experienced the most claims:

    • Manufacturing: 3,448
    • Self-employed, independent contractors, etc.: 1,670
    • Health care and social assistance: 833
    • Accommodation and food services: 586
    • Retail: 519

    During the week ending July 4, $83 million was paid out in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits and $4.4 million was paid out in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.

    In addition, a total of $3.3 million in benefits was paid in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) during that same week.

    Iowa Workforce Development is reminding Iowans who have exhausted their additional 13 weeks of PEUC benefits that they may be eligible for State Extended Benefits that were announced in June.

    Claimants should continue to file weekly claims so that their claims can be reviewed to determine eligibility for State Extended Benefits.

    These benefits may provide eligible claimants up to an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits, although not everyone who qualified for PEUC will be eligible for State Extended Benefits.

    For more information on eligibility, go to: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/state-extended-benefits

    Clark Kauffman
    Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing. His 2004 series on prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. From October 2018 through November 2019, Kauffman was an assistant ombudsman for the Iowa Office of Ombudsman, an agency that investigates citizens’ complaints of wrongdoing within state and local government agencies.