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Worker shortage expected to end as pandemic-related unemployment benefits are no more

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - Governor Reynolds announced the end of pandemic-related unemployment benefits Tuesday. This comes as the state is experiencing a worker shortage.

Governor Reynolds says unemployment benefits discourage people from returning to work. Some recruiters are echoing that, as the termination of the unemployment programs should encourage people to get back into the workforce.

"Businesses are calling into us daily asking what our candidate pool looks like and how we can help them so we've never ever seen this," Express Employment Professionals Sales Manager Erin Erickson said.

Staffing agencies are busier now more than ever. However, the reason behind the surge in business, isn't what they are used to.

"Twelve to sixteen, even eighteen months ago we can post a position on Facebook or indeed and get 50 plus applicants during a weekend. Now, we post a position and get maybe ten," Erickson said.

Recruiters are taking more calls from employers looking for workers, rather than applicants looking for a job.

Express Employment Professionals has 95 job opportunities at their Waterloo location alone. The global firm has officers all across eastern Iowa placing employees at local businesses and companies.

They are looking forward to the unemployment change taking effect.

"We're hopeful that this will help increase that candidate flow so that we can help these businesses hiring in the community fill their open positions," she said.

There are more jobs in Iowa than there are people to fill them. Businesses have been doing what they can to get the workers they need. From offering incentives to increasing wages, companies are desperate for employees.

"They do know that people want that job stability and that job security," Erickson said, "We really are encouraging everyone get back to work as soon as they can because we do have jobs available."

People looking to apply for jobs should do so as soon as possible because staffing agencies are expecting a flood of applications once that change takes effect.

The pandemic-related unemployment benefits will come to an end the week of June 12. Terminating the federal programs won't affect regular state unemployment benefits.

Related: Lawmakers, organizations react to Gov. Reynolds ending federal pandemic unemployment benefits

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Diego Hernandez

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