The number of Iowans who filed initial unemployment claims increased more than 13% last week to 4,791, Iowa Workforce Development reported today.

The state agency attributed the rise to the annual increase in unemployment claims due to workers in construction and landscaping being laid off because of cooler weather. 

Typically, unemployment claims begin to inch upward in November, the state agency said in a news release. “December through the end of February are historically the times we see the highest levels of unemployment,” according to the agency.

Additionally, the state agency reported that during the week that ended on Saturday:
• 44,406 Iowans filed unemployment claims, a 4% decline from the previous week when 46,318 claims were filed.
• $11.3 million in jobless benefits was paid out of the state’s unemployment compensation trust fund. Since mid-March, Iowa has paid out more than $973.5 million in unemployment claims from the fund.
• $1.9 million in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits was paid, which were retroactive payments as the program ended July 25. Since April 4, a total of $1,618,254,943 in benefits have been paid from the fund.
• $3.6 million was paid in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits. Since April 13, $136 million has been paid from the fund.
• $8 million was paid in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits. Since May 27, a total of $108.9 million in benefits have been paid from that fund.
• $1.5 million was paid in State Extended Benefits. Since July 21, $14.1 million has been paid in extended benefits.

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

National data
New unemployment claims filed week ending Oct. 24: 
People continuing to receive jobless benefits for week ending Oct. 17: 
7.7 million
Advanced seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for week ending Oct. 17: 

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