Iowa Workforce Development reports that unemployment claims have risen again this week in Iowa, an increase of about 9% over the previous week.

The number of claims filed between Sunday, May 10, and Saturday, May 16, was 13,040.  That number of claims increased to 14,586 filed between May 17 and May 23.

Last week, it was reported that Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 10.2 percent in the month of April.

That's a huge jump compared to last year's jobless rate of just 2.7, and shows how devastating the coronavirus pandemic has been to the state's economy.

“April is the first month we have seen the real impact of the pandemic on our unemployment rate" said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development.

She added as Iowa reopens the state for commerce and more people return to work, there is hope that the rate will decrease quickly, and "this unprecedented rate will be a very temporary one.”

But Iowa is doing better than the national average, as the total U.S. unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent in April.

In Iowa, the number of continuing weekly unemployment claims rose to 180,679 persons and unemployment insurance benefit payments totaled over $48 million.

For workers affected by a Covid-19 related layoff or furlough there are many programs available to help those still struggling. No one ever said filing for unemployment was fun, so while the "red tape" can be frustrating at times, it is important to not be discouraged and to keep pushing through.

If you need to start a new unemployment claim you can click here.

Another website that may be helpful is the State of Iowa Directory