More than 27,900 Iowans last week filed initial unemployment claims, a 36% drop in new claims from the previous week, newly released data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows.

Since mid-March, when businesses were ordered closed in an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, 239,458 Iowans have filed first-time jobless claims. The number is 15% of 1.58 million workers Iowa Workforce Development reported was employed in Iowa in February.

Thousands of businesses in the state have been ordered to shutter their doors in an effort to slow the spread of the serious respiratory illness. In Iowa, through Tuesday, 3,748 people have tested positive for the virus, and 90 have died.

Nationally, 4.4  million new unemployment claims were filed last week, down from the previous week when more than 5.2 million new claims were filed, according to the labor department. The advance seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the week ending April 11 was 11%, according to the labor department.

Come back to BusinessRecord.com for more on this developing story.