Capital Clicks

Unemployment changes to launch early next year

By: - December 13, 2021 5:21 pm

An unemployment benefits form. (Photo by Getty Images)

Some unemployed Iowans will ring in the new year with new work search requirements, Iowa Workforce Development announced Monday.

The Reemployment Case Management program, which will take effect the week of Jan. 9, will require unemployed Iowans to meet weekly with a career planner and to do at least three other “reemployment activities” each week. That includes applying for jobs, taking the Civil Service exam and attending job fairs and workshops.

“Our goal with RCM is to give unemployed workers both extra help and extra incentive to find a new career path as quickly as possible,” IWD Director Beth Townsend said. “Iowa needs its people working, and we’ll do whatever we can to help get you there.”

Not every unemployed Iowan will immediately participate in the new program. According to Monday’s release, Iowans who have been collecting unemployment for 13 weeks or more will be automatically enrolled, while union members and some seasonal workers will be excluded.

IWD will hire 18 career planners to staff the program. Those case managers will use a new software program to match individuals to job openings in the state.

Gov. Kim Reynolds first revealed in October that changes were coming for IWD’s unemployment system. She said the goal was to promote “rapid reemployment,” getting Iowans back into the workforce as soon as possible. Townsend concurred, saying unemployment benefits were not meant “to provide long-term support.”

“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,” Reynolds said Monday in a news release.

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Katie Akin
Katie Akin

Katie Akin is a former Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter. Katie began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.