The new unemployment numbers were just released and, as expected, they went up drastically last week as the battle against COVID-19 continues across the nation.

In the state of Iowa, the week of March 22 through 28, 2020, Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) reports 55,963 Iowans filed for their first week of unemployment insurance benefits. Another 2,490 individuals who work in Iowa but live out of state filed for unemployment. That's a combined 58,453 who filed for their initial week of unemployment last week.

Here's a breakdown of the fields where most of last week's claimants worked, according to a media release from IWD:

  • Accommodation and Food Services (12,519)
  • Health Care and Social Assistance (7,490)
  • Manufacturing (7,168)
  • Retail Trade (5,888)
  • Other Services (3,780)

During the two-week period of March 15 through 28, 100,343 new unemployment claims have been filed to Iowa Workforce Development. More information on Iowa's unemployment numbers and more details for individuals and businesses are available HERE.

Nationally, unemployment claims skyrocketed last week. According to CNN, 6.6 million American workers filed for the first week of unemployment last week. Economists had expected the number to be as low as 2.65 million this week, according to CNBC, or as high as 3.5 million. Sadly, neither one was even in the ballpark. The 6.6 million is double the number from the week of March 15 through 21, when 3.3 million Americans filed for their initial week of unemployment.