Business

Iowa sees significant decline in weekly unemployment claims

New claims down 47 percent in last week of May

Iowa’s weekly unemployment claims saw a significant drop last week as the economy continues to reopen, Iowa Workforce Development announced Thursday morning.

There were 6,920 new claims, down from 13,653 from the previous week.

The state had 165,195 continuing claims, down from 178,619.

“They are showing some remarkable improvement,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday. “It’s still early in our recovery from COVID-19, but this is good news, and it highlights how our measured approach to closing and reopening sectors of our economy was the right one for Iowans.”

The manufacturing sector has the most claims (1,897), followed by health care and social assistance (784), self-employed and independent contractors (533) and retail trade (511).

The claims resulted in $105.7 million in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. Since April 4, federal benefits for Iowa unemployment claims have totaled $766.8 million.

Nationally, unemployment claims have also decreased. Last week, 1.9 million people across the country filed for unemployment, the lowest since the start of the pandemic.

These numbers only show people who are actively seeking work, so it does not necessarily give a full picture of people out of work.

Gazette Des Moines bureau reporter Rod Boshart contributed to this report.

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

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