As we've been hearing in Iowa for most of 2021, there is a "worker shortage" here, but not a job shortage as businesses are being forced to make do with less workforce, or close down early because they don't have enough staff.
That's why according to Corridor Careers and the Cedar Rapids Gazette, changes are coming in the steps required to receive unemployment benefits.
Recipients must double their job searches
Effective January 9, 2022, unemployment recipients must double the number of jobs they search for, from 2 to 4. You must also work on the job search with a case manager. Per the state workforce department:
The new program requirements initially will apply only to those filing a new unemployment claim, then will expand to those who have been receiving unemployment benefits for 13 weeks or more.
The number of qualifying types of work searches will also decrease from 27 to 12. It sounds like they are ready to crack down on who will get these benefits, given the apparent availability of open jobs compared to the shortage of workers.
Governor Reynolds explains more
For her part, the governor stated "we are taking a holistic approach in revitalizing our reemployment process to ensure that Iowans have the access they need to match them with the successful career paths and opportunities that await them across our state."
1.54 million Iowans were working in October, the highest number so far in 2021. That is still 54,000 workers short of the 1.59 million Iowans who were working in January of 2020, just before the pandemic hit, according to state workforce data.
Some families have also been relying on extra benefits from the expanded child tax credit that was part of the American Rescue Plan. Ongoing disagreement in Congress has halted the passage of renewal of that benefit so it was recently reported that with this week bringing the last of those payments for 2021, families should expect delays in getting them beginning in 2022.