The number of initial unemployment claims reported by U.S. Department of Labor, filed between Sunday, March 15th and Saturday, March 21st, (the first time period that reflects the increased number of claims filed related to COVID-19) has revealed what industries have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

The top five industries with the most COVID-19 related claims in that time period are as follows:

  • Accommodation and Food Services (13,364)
  • Health Care and Social Assistance (4,936)
  • Education Services (2,698)
  • Other Services (1,999)
  • Retail Trade (1,710)

Locally, the Iowa Workforce Development is receiving an unprecedented level of calls and we have several hundred staff answering those calls each day. However, long waits are resulting from the surge and many of the questions can be answered by the information contained on our website. We ask everyone to be patient when calling and to consider looking to the website first for answers to their questions. We will continue to provide as much assistance as possible to our fellow Iowans to ensure everyone who is eligible for benefits, receive those benefits in a timely basis.

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

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