‘It’s Time for Everyone Who Can to Get Back to Work’: Gov. Reynolds Ending Iowa’s Federal Pandemic-Related Unemployment Participation

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds has announced Iowa will no longer participate in federal pandemic-related unemployment benefits programs beginning June 12.

A statement released by the governor’s office Tuesday cited the state’s strong economy for the decision which she said is also designed to address the severe workforce shortage in Iowa.

“Regular unemployment benefits will remain available, as they did before the pandemic, but it’s time for everyone who can to get back to work,” Gov. Reynolds said. “This country needs to look to the future, and Iowa intends to lead the way.” 

The governor also stated that while the payments from the federal government were crucial for Iowans when the pandemic began, they are now acting as a deterrent for people to return to the workforce.

“Our unemployment rate is at 3.7 percent, vaccines are available to anyone who wants one, and we have more jobs available than unemployed people,” said Reynolds.

The following programs will only be available for Iowans through the week ending June 12th:

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) 
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) 
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) 
  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)

Director of Iowa Workforce Development Beth Townsend echoed the governor’s statements about the many jobs available for Iowans and the difficulties businesses are having filling open positions.

“The overwhelming message we receive from employers these days is the lack of workforce that is adversely affecting their ability to recover from the pandemic. There are currently over 66,000 job openings posted on https://www.iowaworks.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx. Our field offices are open and ready to help. We are very excited to return to providing the support and help we love to provide – helping Iowans find their next great job or new career pathway and helping employers find their next great employee.” 

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