Statewide continuing unemployment claims below 50,000 for first time since March

Initial claims see slight increase between Oct. 4-10

Job seekers wait in line to speak with representatives during a job fair in New York on Nov. 10, 2016. (Mark Kauzlarich/
Job seekers wait in line to speak with representatives during a job fair in New York on Nov. 10, 2016. (Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg)

Iowa saw a drop in continuing unemployment claims for the week of Oct. 4-10 for the seventh consecutive week, Iowa Workforce Development said Thursday. That marks the first time the state reported fewer than 50,000 continuing claims since March.

Overall, continuing claims fell from 51,560 to 46,577.

Initial claims increased, however, from 4,288 to 4,644. It is a decrease from what Iowa Workforce initially reported the previous week, but the U.S. Department of Labor later adjusted the numbers based on its data.

Manufacturing remained the largest source of claims, with 860, followed by self-employed and independent contractors with 851, health care and social assistance with 413, construction with 351, and accommodation and food services with 292.

That resulted in $12.9 million in standard unemployment benefits, $7.6 million in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, $3.9 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and $1.3 million in State Extended Benefits.

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and State Extended Benefits take effect after an Iowan exhausts standard unemployment benefits.

Iowans received almost $1 million in Lost Wages Assistance, which gives those who are unemployed due to the pandemic an additional $300 in benefits for six weeks.

These numbers only include people who are actively seeking work and therefore do not necessarily give a full picture of how many people are out of work.

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