The number of continuing unemployment claims in Jasper County last week dropped below 500 for the first time since the week that ended March 21st. Initial claims fell for the third consecutive week. Iowa Workforce Development says Jasper County had 485 continuing claims last week, down 113 from the week before. Initial claims for the week ending last Saturday October 10th totaled 54, down 5 from the prior week.  Across the state continuing claims have dropped below 50-thousand. Those ongoing unemployment claims were down by nearly five-thousand (4,983) last week compared to the previous week. Iowa’s continuing claims have now dropped 16 straight weeks. Iowa Workforce Development says the drop comes as new unemployment claims for the state were up slightly to 46-hundred-44. Manufacturing and self-employed workers or independent contractors each saw more than 800 new unemployment claims.