New jobless claims rise 20% in Iowa

    Pandemic-related unemployment is adding to seasonal layoffs in Iowa. (Photo by Getty Images)

    The number of Iowans applying for unemployment benefits rose about 20% last week, the state reported Thursday.

    Nearly 45% of the people who filed indicated their claims were not related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an Iowa Workforce Development news release. Unemployment claims typically increase between November and February because of seasonal layoffs in fields including construction, agriculture, landscaping and manufacturing, the department’s release stated.

    Iowans filed a total of 5,576 new jobless claims during the week of Nov. 1-7, an increase of 967 claims over the previous week. The number of continuing weekly unemployment claims dropped by 1,322 from the previous week for a total of 35,660.

    The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claims number to 4,609, a decrease of 355. Continuing claims were adjusted to 36,982, a decrease of 308 from the original number for last week.

    For the week ending Nov. 7, unemployment insurance benefit payments totaled $10.1 million. These industries had the most claims:

    •       Manufacturing (1,005)
    •       Industry not available – self-employed, independent contractors, etc. (743)
    •       Construction (634)
    •       Health care & social assistance (629)
    •       Retail trade (365)

    Employees can find assistance here at Iowa Workforce Development’s website.

    Kathie Obradovich
    Editor Kathie Obradovich has been covering Iowa government and politics for more than 30 years, most recently as political columnist and opinion editor for the Des Moines Register. She previously covered the Iowa Statehouse for 10 years for newspapers in Davenport, Waterloo, Sioux City, Mason City and Muscatine. She is a leading voice on Iowa politics and makes regular appearances on state, national and international news programs. She has led national-award-winning coverage of the Iowa Caucuses and the Register’s Iowa Poll.