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Iowa state agency recognized for reemployment program


Iowa Workforce Development is the recipient of the 2022 Full Employment Award, given annually by the American Institute for Full Employment to states that demonstrate a commitment to helping people become reemployed. The nonprofit institute noted that the nation’s states experienced historic labor shortages following the pandemic and that labor force participation rates remained low. Iowa responded to the need for workers by launching its Reemployment Case Management program in January 2022 and increasing weekly work search expectations of people receiving unemployment benefits, according to a news release. The reemployment program provides one-on-one assistance for jobless Iowans beginning with the first week of their unemployment claims. Career planners conduct weekly meetings, virtually and in person, to provide individualized job search assistance and connections to any needed resources. In the program’s first year, career planners held more than 24,000 meetings with claimants, and more than 5,000 claimants reported that they found work while part of the program. The institute noted that while nearly 1 in 3 U.S. unemployment claims — 31% — led to the exhaustion of benefits in the third quarter of 2022, Iowa reduced the percentage of its claimants who used up their unemployment benefits to 13.7%, the second-lowest in the nation.

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