DES MOINES, Iowa- Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend the state has paid out $10.6 million in last week's initial jobless claims.
She says most of the applications for unemployment benefits, from last week's initial claims include 13,000 are from those in the hotel or food service industry, followed by 5,000 from the health care sector, and 2,600 in education services, as well as 2,000 in an "other" category and 1,700 in the retail sector. She says most claims should be paid out within 7-to-10 days.
Townsend says they've been getting tens of thousands of phone calls about Iowans wishing to apply for jobless benefits. The spike is directly related to the the COVID-19 outbreak, which as prompted the temporary closure of business activities across the state.
Townsend says they have 250-people answering phones, and are adding more temporary staffers who are being trained and will begin answering calls Monday.
She's asking Iowans' patience, noting those answering the phones will get to them as soon as possible.