Here's a warning to Iowans who are receiving extra weekly unemployment benefits -- they are about to come to an end.

Citing severe workplace shortages in Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds has announced that the state will end its participation in the federal pandemic-related benefits programs on June 12. Thousands of Iowans are currently receiving the extra $300 weekly benefit.

“Federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs initially provided displaced Iowans with crucial assistance when the pandemic began,” Reynolds said in a statement. “But now that our businesses and schools have reopened, these payments are discouraging people from returning to work. 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.”

“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,” Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said. "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.”

There are currently over 66,000 job openings posted on the Iowa Workforce Development's website.

Iowa will continue to provide regular state unemployment insurance benefits to those eligible under the applicable state code.

“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.”

According to Reynolds, Iowa will no longer waive employer charges for COVID-related unemployment insurance claims.

Reynolds is joining a growing list of Republican governors who are rejecting the extra jobless benefits. Iowa is the sixth state to announce it will refuse the pandemic-related unemployment assistance, according to We Are Iowa. The others are: Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana and South Carolina.

Source: We Are Iowa

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