Gov. Kim Reynolds announced she has directed $490 million of the $1.25 billion in Coronavirus relief funds Iowa was provided through the CARES Act to be deposited into Iowa’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The deposit will ensure that eligible Iowans continue to receive unemployment insurance benefits, and will also enable Iowa employers to remain in Tax Table 7 for 2021, she said in a press release. “As we move forward with recovery, I want to minimize the pandemic’s impact on employers so they can focus on growing and reinvesting in Iowa,” Reynolds said. The move also ensures that the trust fund remains financially healthy, she said. As of May 30, the state had paid out more than $455.7 million in unemployment claims; however, the state has not charged employers with claims made by laid-off workers during the pandemic. According to Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend, keeping employers in Tax Table 7 saves them more than $400 million in unemployment taxes. Under Table 7, the average contribution rate was 1.3%, although contribution rates in 2019 for individual employers ranged from zero to 7.5%.