Governor Kim Reynolds says Iowa has a severe workforce shortage and she’s joining a growing list of Republican governors who are rejecting the extra unemployment benefits included in federal pandemic relief measures.
Governor Reynolds says it’s time for everyone who can to get back to work and the 300-dollars added to an individual’s weekly unemployment benefits will end June 12th. She says the extra federal unemployment benefits provided crucial assistance when the pandemic began, but she says these payments now are discouraging people from returning to work. The governor says with a 3.7 % unemployment rate, Iowa has more jobs available than unemployed people.
There have been extended federal benefits, beyond the traditional 26 weeks of unemployment for laid off workers, and the governor is ordering those to end June 12th as well. Iowa Association of Business and Industry president Mike Ralston issued a statement praising Reynolds for making these moves. Ralston says the extra unemployment benefits exacerbated the workforce shortage Iowa was experiencing before the pandemic.