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Employment rate rises in Iowa after state ends $ 300 unemployment benefits

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – The additional pandemic unemployment benefit of $ 300 ended nationwide Monday.

In Iowa, the Kim Reynolds government ended the push on June 12, and since then Iowa Workforce Development has said the employment rate has increased in the state, but worker shortages remain in many areas. many industries.

From bus drivers and restaurants, to hotels and manufacturing jobs, companies are hiring.

According to Iowa Workforce Development, although it is still too early to know the full impact of the early termination of benefits, more people have been looking for work since the state ended benefits. The number of people looking for work in an unemployment office increased by 1,183 or 23%.

“In fact, we kind of started to improve a bit after the extra unemployment money was cut,” said Kathi Corbett, general manager of the Durham bus location in Davenport.

Reynolds made the decision to end benefits earlier, citing a strong job market, a recovering economy and as an effort to address the state’s labor shortage.

Iowa’s unemployment rate edged up to 4.1% in July from 4% in June, but the state’s unemployment rate was 6.1% a year ago.

The total number of workers in Iowa rose to 1,593,600 in July, 55,400 more than in July 2020 and 5,700 more than in June 2021.

The bureau also reports that the number of unemployed Iowa job seekers increased by 800, leading to an increase in the Iowa workforce participation rate of 66.6. % in June to 66.9%.

While Arconic in Riverdale doesn’t experience a widespread shortage of workers like some industries, they do offer signing bonuses of up to $ 5,000 to fill certain positions.

“Our positions as electricians, general mechanics, truck repairers. Things like that that usually require a travel level card, ”said Marguerite Tomlin, internal communications specialist for Arconic.

The company can’t say it’s completely linked to the pandemic, but is hoping the added incentive could attract more applicants to fill their vacancies.

“A lot of people in the area are hiring. Especially with these posts. Since these are the ones that we’ve struggled to bridge in the past, we’ve kind of grown, ”Tomlin said.

Arconic hosts a career fair on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Arconic Learning Center, across from the main factory.

Illinois’ unemployment rate fell to 7.1% in July, from 11% in July 2020.

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