Iowa Workforce Development reports initial unemployment insurance claims filed for week of May 2 - 8, 2021

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: May 13, 2021
Media Contact:

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Iowa Workforce Development reports initial unemployment insurance claims filed for week of May 2 - 8, 2021  

DES MOINES - The number of initial unemployment claims in Iowa, filed between Sunday, May 2, and Saturday, May 8, was 3,649, an increase of 504 from last week’s adjusted numbers. There were 3,146 initial claims by individuals who work and live in Iowa, and 503 claims by individuals who work in Iowa and live in another state.  The number of continuing weekly unemployment claims was 26,193, a decrease of 1,571 from the previous week.  For the week ending May 8, 2021, nearly 52.2% of claimants indicated their claims were not COVID-19 related, which is a decrease from 54.2% the previous week.   

The U.S. Department of Labor adjusted last week’s initial claim number to 3,145 (a decrease of 230) and continuing claims to 27,764 (a decrease of 687). 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.     

As Governor Reynolds announced earlier this week, effective June 12, 2021, the State of Iowa will end its participation in federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) and Mixed Earnings Unemployment Compensation (MEUC).  All impacted Iowans will receive written notice in subsequent days. Iowa will continue to pay regular state unemployment claims to individuals who qualify.    Additionally, IWD will resume charging employers for unemployment insurance claims filed after June 12, 2021, regardless of whether they are COVID-19 related. Information and related documents can be found here:   

Claimants who have received a notice of federal benefit overpayment now have the option to request an overpayment waiver for PEUC, FPUC, PUA and Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) benefits.  The overpayment waiver form is available online:   

IWD encourages Iowans to be vigilant and take precautions to protect their identities following reports of increased unemployment insurance fraud attempts. Claimants can protect their log-in information such as username, password, and Personal Identification Number (PIN) by making these as challenging as possible. Please be sure to always access our claims website directly via the IWD website rather than through a web browser search. IWD has added enhanced security measures to the claims website to increase the protection and integrity of the unemployment insurance program. We understand these enhanced measures may add additional steps in the filing process, but they are necessary to protect our customers. Please visit the IWD website for more information:     

IowaWORKS and satellite centers are open for in-person services, providing work search activities, help with resumes, interview preparation, applications, and other services to help Iowans with their employment needs. Basic workshops, both in-person and virtual trainings will resume in June. Contact your nearest center for more information: Customers with questions regarding unemployment insurance benefits should continue to contact the IWD call center at 1-866-239-0843 or email   

For the week ending May 8, 2021, unemployment insurance benefit payments totaled $7,324,997.55. The following industries had the most claims:      

●     Manufacturing (639)  

●     Industry Not Available - Self-employed, Independent Contractors, etc. (457)  

●     Retail Trade (269)  

●     Health Care & Social Assistance (265)  

●     Construction (263)   

A total of 43,985 claimants received $16,424,700 in FPUC benefits, a decrease of 5,927 from the previous week.  The amount paid includes retroactive payments and reauthorized payments that went into effect on Dec. 27, 2020.  Since April 4, 2020, a total of $1,992,483,733 in FPUC benefits has been paid.     

A total of 10,740 claimants received $3,012,685 in PUA benefits, a decrease of 3,830 from the previous week. Since April 13, 2020, a total of $246,308,121.54 in PUA benefits has been paid.     

A total of 17,873 claimants received $7,638,636.04 in PEUC benefits, a decrease of 830 from the previous week. Since May 27, 2020, a total of $344,745,598.07 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 over 66,600 job openings at, including over 1,000 jobs that are remote or work from home jobs.  IWD encourages all Iowans who are impacted by the loss of federal benefits to begin their job search now as employers are hiring and there are a significant number of good jobs available around the state, across all industries.    

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   

This week’s Mission: Employable Podcast guest is Dr. Marvin DeJear, Senior Vice President of Talent Development at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. LISTEN HERE: