Early termination of UI in the event of a pandemic has not improved employment rates in Iowa, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and experts.
Pandemic unemployment insurance programs, funded by the CARES Act, offered longer coverage and increased financial supplements than typical unemployment insurance. At the federal level, extended benefits expired on September 11, but some states, including Iowa, ended the program earlier. In Iowa, benefits expired on June 12, in an attempt to get workers back into the workforce.
“Iowa Workforce Development thinks it will be some time before we see the full impact of the decision to eliminate extended unemployment benefits,” due to a combination of other factors, said Jesse Dougherty, head of employment. public information.
Iowa’s jobless claims have declined and visits to IowaWORKS offices have increased, Dougherty said.
Economists say research hasn’t shown government program incentives keep people from working, according to Colin Gordon, a researcher for Common Good Iowa.
“People think that if (the incentives) are meager, they go back to the workforce,” Gordon said. “It was never really true.”
Despite substantial employment growth compared to the same period last year, employment levels have remained stagnant since the end of expanded UI benefits, according to BLS data. From July to August, Iowa lost 6,500 jobs.