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Iowa Workforce Development reported a decrease in unemployment claims between March 14 and March 20, marking the fourth consecutive week with a decline in total claims.
New claims fell from 5,750 to 5,498, and continuing claims dropped from 40,145 to 38,165. It's the first time Iowa had fewer than 40,000 continuing claims since the week of Christmas.
The amount of claims related to coronavirus increased from 31.9 percent to 32.9 percent, according to IWD.
Self-employed and independent contractors were the largest source of claims with 1,098, followed by manufacturing with 834, construction with 389, transportation and warehousing with 366 and retail trade with 348.
The claims resulted in about $26 million in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, $13.3 million in standard unemployment benefits, $12.6 million in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and $3.8 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
These numbers are preliminary and are yet to be adjusted by the U.S. Department of Labor. They also only include people actively seeking work and therefore do not necessarily give a full picture of how many people are out of work.
Because of high call volumes, IWD is asking Iowans to only call for help filing their claims. The agency encourages others to email firstname.lastname@example.org with their questions.
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