The start of Amazon’s hiring process for a fulfillment center under construction in Bondurant is coming at a time when thousands of Iowans remain unemployed and many will be required to begin actively searching for work starting in September.

Iowa Workforce Development today announced that beginning Sept. 8 it will reinstate its requirement that unemployed Iowans who receive unemployment benefits must actively look for jobs. The requirement had been suspended at the start of the pandemic.

The state agency noted that more than 58,000 job openings are listed on its website

Among the openings are positions with Amazon’s Bondurant fulfillment center, under construction at 500 32nd St. S.W., east of U.S. Highway 65. The center is slated to open in November and is expected to employ more than 1,100 people. Among the facility’s job openings are manager positions in human resources, transportation, loss prevention, operations and finance. 

Iowa Workforce Development, in its news release, said that not all unemployed Iowans will be required to begin work searches. Exceptions include those receiving federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits due to a medical condition or lack of child care. 

The state agency announced today that 90,154 Iowans received unemployment benefits during the week that ended on Saturday, down 7% from the previous week. Among those receiving benefits were 6,544 Iowans who filed initial claims, 33% more than the 4,891 who filed initial claims the previous week.

The agency noted that increases in initial and continuing claims will likely occur in the coming weeks because FEMA on Aug. 14 approved Iowa’s application to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance program, which provides eligible unemployment benefit recipients an additional $300 a week. 

Data released today by Iowa Workforce Development also shows that in the week that ended on Saturday:
• $23.4 million in jobless benefits was paid out of the state’s unemployment compensation trust fund. Since mid-March, Iowa has paid out more than $804.3 million in unemployment claims.
• $78.8 million was paid from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation fund. Since April 4, $1.58 billion in additional benefits has been paid to Iowans from the federal fund.  
• $4.4 million was paid to self-employed Iowans through the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance fund. Since late April, more than $98.7 million has been paid to Iowans from the fund.
• $3.9 million was paid from the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation to Iowans whose unemployment insurance has run out. Since May 27, when the program began, Iowans have received $43.6 million from the fund.

Nationally, 1.1 million new unemployment claims were filed last week, an increase from the previous week when more than 971,000 new claims were filed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

In addition, the department reported that the number of people receiving jobless benefits for the week ending Aug. 8 declined slightly to 14.8 million. The advanced seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the week ending Aug. 8 was 10.2%, according to the labor department. The continuing claims and unemployment rate lag by a week from initial claims filings.