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Unemployment claims in Iowa drop by almost 18,000

By: - July 24, 2020 1:57 pm

Iowa is resuming a requirement that people look for work in order to continue receiving unemployment benefits. (Photo by Sezeryadigar/Getty Images)

The number of ongoing unemployment claims in Iowa dropped by almost 18,000 last week, according to Iowa Workforce Development.

“The significant decrease in continuing claims from the prior week is a welcome bit of good news,” said Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development.  “While one week is not a trend, it is the biggest decline in continuing claims we have had in a single week since the beginning of the pandemic.  We hope we continue to see similar declines in coming weeks as more and more Iowans return to work.”

The number of claims for the week ending July 18 was 116,810, a decrease of almost 18,000 from the previous week.

The number of new unemployment claims filed in Iowa last week was 9,505. Unemployment insurance benefit payments totaled $31.7 million for the week ending July 18.

The following industries had the most claims:

  • Manufacturing: 2,085
  • Self-employed, independent contractors, etc.: 1,703
  • Health care and social assistance: 864
  • Retail: 599
  • Accommodation and food services: 596

A total of $85,603,350 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits was paid during the week ending July 18. Since April 4, 2020, almost $1.4 million in FPUC benefits has been paid.

A total of $5,880,641 was paid in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits, and $3,506,721 in  Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits were also paid during the week ending July 18. Since May 27, 2020, a total of $31,832,322.06 in PEUC benefits have been paid.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits end July 25 in Iowa.  This means the $600 weekly additional benefit will stop and at this time, as no extension or change to the program has been made by Congress.

Claimants will therefore see a corresponding decrease in their weekly benefit amount. Individuals who have exhausted the additional 13 weeks of PEUC benefits may be eligible for State Extended Benefits (EB) announced in June, and should continue to file weekly claims so that their cases 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.  Not everyone who qualified for PEUC will be eligible for State Extended Benefits.  More information is available here:


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Clark Kauffman
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.