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Iowa Workforce Development reports initial unemployment insurance claims filed for week of February 7 - 13, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: February 18, 2021
Media Contact:

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Iowa Workforce Development reports initial unemployment insurance claims filed for week of February 7 - 13, 2021

DES MOINES - The number of initial unemployment claims in Iowa, filed between Sunday, Feb. 7, and Saturday, Feb. 13, was 6,320, an increase of 200 from last week’s adjusted numbers. There were 5,760 initial claims by individuals who work and live in Iowa, and 560 claims by individuals who work in Iowa and live in another state.  The number of continuing weekly unemployment claims was 47,614, a decrease of 414 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 Feb. 13, 2021, nearly 68.8% of claimants indicated their claims were not COVID-19 related, which is an increase from 67.5% the previous week. 

The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 6,120 (a decrease of 53) and continuing claims to 48,028 (a decrease of 673 for a total decrease of 726 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.  

The new Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) extended benefit programs have been implemented and payments are being issued.  IWD will automatically enroll all Iowans who are in current reporting status.  If you were unemployed or working reduced hours as of December 27, 2020, or after and you have not been filing a weekly continued claim, you will need to reactivate your claim.  You may do so online at  If you are unable to file a claim online, you may contact Iowa Workforce Development Customer Service at 1-866-239-0843 and a representative will assist you.  We appreciate your patience as we worked to implement the new programs created under the second stimulus bill.   

For the week ending Feb. 13, 2021, unemployment insurance benefit payments totaled $16,388,535.64. The following industries had the most claims:

●     Construction (1,899)

●     Industry Not Available - Self-employed, Independent Contractors, etc (804)

●     Manufacturing (803)

●     Retail Trade (380)

●     Administrative, Support, Waste Management, and Remediation Services (338)

A total of $18,991,500 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 $1,706,707,633 in FPUC benefits has been paid.

A total of $4,565,691 was paid in PUA benefits. Since April 13, 2020, a total of $202,182,050.54 in PUA benefits has been paid.

A total of $2,816,263.18 in benefits has been paid in PEUC benefits. Since May 27, 2020, a total of $209,141,042.74 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 68,000 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