Iowa Workforce Development reports initial unemployment insurance claims filed for week of February 28 - March 6, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: March 11, 2021
Media Contact:

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Iowa Workforce Development reports initial unemployment insurance claims filed for week of February 28 - March 6, 2021

 DES MOINES - The number of initial unemployment claims in Iowa, filed between Sunday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, March 6, was 5,531, an increase of 1,315 from last week’s adjusted numbers. There were 4,898 initial claims by individuals who work and live in Iowa, and 633 claims by individuals who work in Iowa and live in another state.  The number of continuing weekly unemployment claims was 44,827, a decrease of 3,562 from the previous week.  November through February are typically the months IWD sees the most unemployment claims, driven by increased claims in construction, agriculture, landscaping and manufacturing due to seasonal layoffs.  For the week ending March 6, 2021, nearly 59.1% of claimants indicated their claims were not COVID-19 related, which is a decrease from 62.2% the previous week. 

The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 4,216 (a decrease of 236) and continuing claims to 48,389 (a decrease of 751 for a total decrease of 987 overall).  Iowa Workforce Development relies upon the weekly data released by the U.S. Department of Labor to report its numbers and as such, adopts the revisions to the previously published data.  

IowaWORKS centers and satellite offices are providing limited in-person services to assist customers with work search activities and basic employment assistance.  Services include assistance with job searches, applications, resume preparation, and other services to help Iowans with their employment needs.  Individuals should telephone their local office first to schedule an appointment as walk-in services may be limited in order to follow social distancing recommendations.  Workshops and classes will not be offered at this time.  Customers with questions regarding unemployment insurance benefits should continue to contact the IWD call center at 1-866-239-0843 or email to obtain information about their claims.

For the week ending March 6, 2021, unemployment insurance benefit payments totaled $15,781,866.67. The following industries had the most claims:

●     Manufacturing (1,505)

●     Industry Not Available - Self-employed, Independent Contractors, etc (874)

●     Construction (457)

●     Retail Trade (435)

●     Health Care & Social Assistance (309)

A total of $27,375,300 in FPUC benefits was paid, which include retroactive payments and reauthorized payments that went into effect on Dec. 27, 2020.  Since April 4, 2020, a total of $1,805,089,033 in FPUC benefits has been paid. 

A total of $3,724,526.00 was paid in PUA benefits. Since April 13, 2020, a total of $214,319,456.54 in PUA benefits has been paid.

A total of $12,491,318.49 in benefits has been paid in PEUC benefits this week. Since May 27, 2020, a total of $260,344,103.88 in PEUC benefits have been paid.  

Claimants receiving unemployment are required to perform weekly work searches. Those who will be required to begin work searches will be notified by IWD.  We have also posted updates on our website regarding this requirement.  There are currently almost 66,000 job openings at   Not all claimants will be required to begin work searches, including for example, those who are receiving PUA benefits due to a medical condition or lack of childcare.

Employers are required to notify their employees about Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in accordance with Iowa Administrative Code Section 871-22.19. The requirement ensures that workers are aware of the benefits they may be eligible for if they become unemployed or experience a reduction in hours. 

Employees and employers who have questions regarding returning to work should review the Frequently Asked Questions for each group on our website.  Assistance for employers can be found here:

Employees can find assistance here:

For more information on the total data for this week’s unemployment claims, please visit