Business

Iowa sees drop in new unemployment claims after six weeks of increases

More than half of claimants say unemployment is not coronavirus-related

A passer-by walks past a hiring sign while entering a Target retail store on Sept. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
A passer-by walks past a hiring sign while entering a Target retail store on Sept. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

After six consecutive weeks of new unemployment claim numbers in Iowa rising, the state saw the largest single-week drop in new claims last week since May.

Iowa Workforce Development reported 5,593 new claims between Nov. 22 and Nov. 28, which is down from the previous week’s federally-adjusted number of 8,930.

Continuing claims fell from 36,802 to 34,178.

Construction was the largest source of claims with 1,273, followed by manufacturing with 983, self-employed and independent contractors with 554, accommodation and food services with 455 and health care and social assistance with 406.

About 53 percent of people filing claims said their unemployment was not related to coronavirus.

The claims resulted in $8.1 million in standard unemployment benefits, $7.6 million in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and $3.3 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Iowans also received almost $900,000 in retroactive payments from Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and State Extended Benefits. FPUC expired at the end of July, and State Extended Benefits ended on Oct. 31.

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

Comments: (319) 398-8394; john.steppe@thegazette.com

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