Overall unemployment claims were down last week despite an increase in first-time claims. The first-time claims were up after dropping by nearly 50 percent the previous week.

Iowa Workforce Development deputy director, Ryan West, isn’t sure why there was such a swing. “It”s hard telling. I think as we start to decline out of this — you are going to have a little bit of fluctuation up and down like that,” West says. “And then ultimately you’ll start to continue on a downward slope ideally, and those numbers will lessen each week.”

He says they need some more weeks of data to nail down a trend. The loosening of COVID-19 restrictions has let more business open back up and West says that’s reflected in the drop in ongoing unemployment claims. “I think so, and that’s a good sign. As the weather gets warmer it’s continued to be warm…and there’s more stuff that’ll be lifted. It’s a great time that people can start to be getting back into those jobs…We really need to get through June and July in my personal opinion to see where we are with things,” West says.

West says one thing is certain — there are plenty of jobs for those who want to get back to work.  “We have jobs everywhere, employment available and I really think we’ll see that people are going to find opportunities that they may not have looked for in the past,” West says.

West says you can go to IowaWorkforce.gov to find out more about available jobs.