The number of Iowans filing weekly unemployment claims slipped to 45,697 in the week that ended on Saturday, a 13% decrease from the previous week, Iowa Workforce Development reported today.

Included among the unemployment filings were 6,949 initial claims filed by Iowans, the agency reported. Last week’s initial claims were 31% lower than the 10,112 filed in the week that ended Dec. 5.

Nearly 42% of the Iowans who filed claims last week indicated their unemployment was COVID-19-related, the agency reported. The percentage is up nearly 2 points from the previous week.

Additionally, the state agency reported that during the week that ended on Saturday:

  • Nearly 20%, or 1,379, of the new claims were filed by people who worked in construction; another 12.5% or 869, of new claims were filed by people who worked in manufacturing.
  • $10.9 million in jobless benefits was paid out of the state’s unemployment compensation trust fund. Since mid-March, Iowa has paid out more than $1.04 billion in unemployment claims from the fund.  
  • $1.4 million was paid in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits, which were retroactive payments for the program that ended July 25. Since April 4, a total of $1.62 billion in benefits has been paid from the fund.
  • $4.4 million was paid in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits. Since April 13, $162.3 million has been paid from the fund.
  • $7.7 million was paid in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits. Since May 27, a total of $165.3 million in benefits has been paid from that fund.
  • $52,576 was paid in State Extended Benefits. Since July 21, $17.6 million has been paid in extended benefits. The program ended on Oct. 31.

According to, Iowa last week was among the 10 states with the smallest increases in unemployment claims. Iowa ranked 49th out of 51. The rankings include Washington, D.C. To view the entire report, click here.  

National data
New unemployment claims filed for week ending Dec. 12: 885,000
People continuing to receive jobless benefits for week ending Dec. 5: 5.5 million
Advanced seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for week ending Dec. 5: 3.8%

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