DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa Gov. Reynolds announced Tuesday that the state will end its participation in the federal unemployment benefits program.
Reynolds said a strong labor market and the recovering economy are the reason she has chosen to end the participation. It means people will no longer receive their weekly $300 supplement after June 12.
“Federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs initially provided displaced Iowans with crucial assistance when the pandemic began,” said Gov. Reynolds. “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.”
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.”
The week of June 12 will be the last week that the following pandemic-relation benefits will be available:
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
- Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
“Thanks to the Governor’s continued leadership during this pandemic, today’s actions will help alleviate a growing issue for our small business owners here in Iowa. By phasing out some of the pandemic related federal unemployment benefits, small businesses will be able to finally hire employees for the many job openings they are struggling to fill,” said Matt Everson, National Federation of Independent Business State Director in Iowa. “Some of our smallest business owners here have had to shut down their business simply because they can’t find people to show up to work. Small businesses across the state are ready to expand and grow the state’s economy and getting people off the sidelines and back to work is a top priority.”
Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (IA-01) released the following statement applauding Governor Reynolds:
"I've heard from businesses across Iowa who have "Help Wanted" signs on their doors, but can't find workers to fill open jobs. This is because the government is paying people to stay home instead of work—this is a huge issue and barrier to long term economic growth. Economic polices that discourage people from working will pull down our economy. I applaud Governor Reynolds for continuing to implement common sense policies that will put our economy back on track and help get our lives back to normal. "
Progress Iowa Executive Director Matt Sinovic issued the following statement on the Governor's decision:
“Most Iowans believe in helping neighbors in times of crisis. This decision is absolutely heartless.”
“The Governor is putting her corporate pals ahead of Iowans in our time of need. And this is hardly the first time. She has made it easier for landlords to evict tenants, turned down resources to protect kids in schools, and bungled the state’s response to the pandemic.”
“Too many Iowans are out of work because of the crisis the Governor made worse. And now she has the audacity to cut off a life line when we need it most, because her millionaire and billionaire backers demand it.”
“Her priorities are completely backwards, and far too many in our state will suffer as a result.”