Initial unemployment claims in Linn County quadruple after derecho

Statewide claims increase for first time in six weeks


New unemployment claims in Linn County have quadrupled since the Aug. 10 derecho storm struck.

The week before the derecho, the county had 411 initial claims. In the two weeks since, initial claims have risen to 1,668.

It’s the most in Linn County since the week of May 2.

The spike in Linn County claims contributed to the first increase in overall unemployment claims statewide in six weeks. Iowa Workforce Development saw 6,954 new claims and 84,248 continuing claims between Aug. 16 and Aug. 22.

Manufacturing remains the largest source of claims statewide, at 1,897, followed by self-employed and independent contractors with 849, health care and social assistance at 682, construction at 439, and accommodation and food services with 409.

The state paid $23.3 million in standard unemployment benefits.

Iowans also received $4.5 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, $4.4 million in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and $861,920 in State Extended Benefits.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ended July 25, but Iowans received $6.8 million in retroactive payments.

Residents who are unemployed because of the pandemic and receive at least $100 in weekly benefits are eligible for another $300 per week through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Lost Wages Assistance program.

These numbers only include who is actively seeking work and does not record Iowans who have stopped looking or who have cycled out of the system.

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