Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced on Wednesday changes to the way Iowans will have to go about getting unemployment benefits. She hopes the changes will get more Iowans back to work sooner, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

The changes that Governor Reynolds proposed include unemployed Iowans meeting weekly with a caseworker, conducting twice as many weekly job searches, and actively proving they are looking for work. Unemployment payments could be frozen if the new requirements are not met, according to the Iowa Department of Workforce Development. At a press conference yesterday, state officials and the governor said they expect the new rules to go into effect in early 2022.

Governor Reynolds noted that some of the proposed changes will take legislative approval, but didn't provide any specifics. More than 85,000 jobs are available in the state and are posted on the Iowa Workforce Development website. Nearly 68,000 Iowans remain unemployed. The governor was among several governors in the nation that ended the federal unemployment benefits last spring. The state ended the extra $300 payments early, saying that extra benefits were causing a labor shortage, according to the Gazette.

But, data released by the U.S. Department of Labor showed that there was little difference in job growth in states that ended the benefits early, compared to states that didn't. Iowa's unemployment level actually went up in August by about 300. But that is still over 18,000 lower than this time, one year ago. Iowa's unemployment rate is at 4.1%. The national rate is at 5.2%.

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