Iowa unemployment claims increase 42 percent as COVID-19 spread continues

(The Center Square) – Unemployment claims continue to mount in Iowa as the spread of COVID-19 continues.

Preliminary figures released Thursday show 58,453 workers filed for unemployment, a 42.7 percent increase from last week’s record of 40,952 filings. The state had 2,229 jobless claims two weeks prior, before the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The federal government has reinforced state unemployment funds in an effort to cover the sudden expense of many thousands of jobless claims.

Nationally, more than 6.6 million Americans filed unemployment claims.

“This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series,” the U.S. Department of Labor said in a news release.

Non-essential businesses in at least 32 states have been forced to shut down as state and city governments have issued stay at home orders to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Hotels, entertainment venues, casinos, hair salons, barbershops and many other businesses are closed in the majority of the country, though Arizona has kept a number of businesses open that are closed in other states.

California saw the highest number of claims filed for the week ending March 28 with 878,727. That’s up 692,394 over the prior week, when 186,333 unemployment claims were filed.

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