The number of Iowans filing weekly unemployment claims continues to decline, with 45,986 filing claims last week, a nearly 8% drop from the previous week, Iowa Workforce Development reported today.

Additionally, the state agency reported that during the week that ended on Saturday:
• 4,622 Iowans filed initial claims, a 10% increase from the 4,192 of first-time claims filed the previous week. Twenty percent, or 946, of the new claims were from people who worked in manufacturing; another 18%, or 819, were filed by independent contractors or those who are self-employed.
• $11.8 million in jobless benefits was paid out of the state’s unemployment compensation trust fund. Since mid-March, Iowa has paid out more than $962.1 million in unemployment claims.
• $2.4 million in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits was paid. Those were retroactive payments, as the program ended July 25. Since April 4, a total of $1.61 billion in benefits has been paid from the fund.
• $3.8 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits was paid. Since April 13, $132.4 million has been paid from the fund.
• $7.8 million in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits was paid. Since May 27, a total of $100.9 million in benefits have been paid from that fund.
• $1.4 million was paid in State Extended Benefits. Since July 21, $12.6 million has been paid in extended benefits.

According to WalletHub.com, Iowa is among the 10 states that are experiencing the quickest recovery from COVID-19. Iowa ranked eighth in the weekly survey.

National data
New unemployment claims filed week ending Oct. 17: 
787,000
People continuing to receive jobless benefits for week ending Oct. 10: 
8.3 million
Advanced seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for week ending Oct. 10: 
5.7%

Note: The continuing claims and unemployment rate lag by a week from initial claims filings.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor