Business

Continuing unemployment claims in Iowa reach highest point since October

Iowa Workforce Development waiting for guidance on new federal benefits

A hiring sign is posted at a Target retail store in September. (Associated Press)
A hiring sign is posted at a Target retail store in September. (Associated Press)

New and continuing unemployment claims in Iowa increased the week of Dec. 27, with continuing claims reaching their highest point since October.

New claims rose from 7,141 to 8,236. Continuing claims jumped from 38,023 to 43,901.

According to Iowa Workforce Development, about 68.6 percent of claims were not related to coronavirus, which was down from 70.6 percent in the previous week.

Construction was the largest source of claims with 2,026, followed by manufacturing with 1,698, and self-employed and independent contractors with 731.

Administrative, support, waste management and remediation services had 555 claims, and the retail trade had 469 claims.

It resulted in $12.9 million in standard unemployment benefits, $6.3 million in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and $4.1 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Iowa Workforce Development only paid PEUC and PUA to existing applicants as it awaits federal guidance before beginning payments to new applicants. IWD also is awaiting federal guidance before issuing Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits.

IWD anticipates the guidance arriving in the “next few weeks,” according to a news release.

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These numbers only include people actively seeking work and therefore do not necessarily include all Iowans out of work. These also are preliminary numbers, which IWD will later adjust based on information from the U.S. Department of Labor.

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

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