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Local expert: ‘unlikely an extra $300 a week is keeping people from wanting to work’

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 6:23 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - Some business owners in Iowa blame the increased unemployment benefit payments for not being able to find workers, but some experts say there’s more to it than that.

The reaction in Iowa was mixed on Tuesday after Gov. Reynolds announced the state is ending its participation in federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs by June 12.

In the announcement, Reynolds said these payments are discouraging people from returning to work.

However, Ryan Anderson, a business professor at Grand View University in Des Moines, said it’s unlikely an extra $300 a week is keeping people from wanting to work. He said it may be just one of the factors.

Anderson said other factors may include wages and health concerns, especially among those working in the service industry.

Drake University Economics professor, Sean Severe, said many people had to drop out of the workforce for childcare issues.

“Why should I pay $1,000 for daycare a month, if I’m only bringing in $500 of income?” Severe said.

Both professors say the governor’s decision to end federal benefits will help the labor shortage, but not on a large scale.

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