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For Immediate Release
Unemployment Statistics Contact: Deb Ostrem - Telephone: (515) 281-8185
Unemployment Benefits Contact: Joe Bervid - Telephone: (515) 281-8117
Workers’ Compensation Contact: Mike Trier - Telephone: (515) 281-8335

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DES MOINES, IOWA — Maximum weekly benefits paid to jobless Iowans and to workers injured on the job will increase in July, announced Iowa Workforce Development.

The rise in benefits was triggered by an increase in wages covered by unemployment insurance. The average annual wage for insured Iowa workers increased to $ 31,878.45 in 2004 from the 2003 rate of $ 30,493.55.

The new benefit payment schedules will apply to people who file new unemployment insurance claims after July 3, 2005 and to workers who are injured on or after July 1, 2005.

Under Iowa law, the number of people covered by unemployment insurance and their gross wages are primary elements of a formula Iowa Workforce Development uses each year to compute maximum and minimum benefit amounts paid to jobless workers. The new rates are:

Number of
Dependents
Maximum Weekly
Benefit July 3, 2005
Minimum Weekly
Benefit July 3, 2005
Current Maximum
Weekly Benefit
       
0 $ 324 $ 48 $ 310
1 $ 337 $ 50 $ 322
2 $ 349 $ 53 $ 334
3 $ 367 $ 56 $ 351
4 or more $ 398 $ 58 $ 381

Iowa Workforce Development officials noted that less than half of those eligible for unemployment insurance benefits have enough earnings to qualify for the maximum benefit. Out of an estimated total labor force of 1,627,800, a total of 1,403,855 workers were covered by the Iowa unemployment insurance program in 2004.

Beginning July 1, the workers’ compensation maximum weekly benefit for temporary total disability, healing period, permanent total disability and death will rise to $1,226. For permanent partial disability, the weekly maximum will be $1,128.

Iowa Workforce Development, in cooperation with its many partner organizations, operates 71 offices serving all 99 Iowa counties. Sixteen regional workforce centers offer a one-stop experience for accessing many programs, products and services for job seekers, employers, students, economic developers and other community stakeholders.

IWD’s core services include job placement services for individuals; worker recruitment assistance to employers; training services to low-income and disadvantaged Iowans; worker protection and safety programs (inspections, consultation and education services); unemployment insurance programs and services; information regarding choices about careers, industries, labor availability and more; workers’ compensation benefits/entitlement; and technical assistance for employers.

Services, in most instances, are provided at no charge or for a nominal charge to the customer.

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