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Unemployment Rate Drops Again

The number of initial unemployment claims in Iowa for the week of September 6- 12 was 4,962. For that week the total number of continuing ongoing claims was 65,653 which is a decrease of 5,300 from the prior week. Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.0% in August, according to Iowa Workforce Development. The national rate was 8.4% in August. The total number of unemployed Iowans was 96,500 compared to 110,300 in July. The number of working Iowans increased to 1,520,200 in August, compared to 1,516,200 in July. The civilian workforce in August was 1,616,800, compared to 1,626,500 in July. Workforce Development does not give a reason for the decline but I wonder if it could be because of students who had been working, returning to school.

Iowa employers are in need of skilled employees. There are more than 60,000 jobs listed at https://www.iowaworks.gov. We have been working hard to make the training available to Iowans, so they will qualify for good, high paying jobs.

More on Lawsuits Over Absentee Ballot Requests

As I expected, the Judge in Johnson County has ruled in favor of the groups challenging the mailings of filled-in ballot requests, and has ordered the Johnson County Auditor to contact Johnson County voters and tell them not to use the filled-in request forms that they had received. The Secretary of State is sending absentee ballot request forms to all registered voters, that must be filled in by the voters. Among other things, the voter must provide an Iowa Driver’s License number, or non- Operator ID number, or the 4 digit Voter PIN number from his or her Voter Identification Card. This information should only be available to the voter. This was the main safeguard that was circumvented by the applications that were all filled out before being sent to the voter’s address on file with the County Auditor. (Of course, some registered voters will have moved or died at any given time.) The Secretary of State has provided a return envelope, postage paid, addressed to the voter’s county auditor.

Other organizations are also sending out ballot request forms to voters. Many expect that a record number of early votes will be cast this year.

Apply to be a Senate (or House) Page

The Iowa Senate has released a statement regarding the Page program, a key part of which follows:

“Each year the Iowa Senate and the Iowa House of Representatives employ ambitious high school juniors and seniors of high academic standing to serve as Pages for the legislative session. To be eligible, applicants must be at least 16 years old by January 3, 2021. Pages will be permitted to participate in official school functions and social activities whenever possible. Pages will begin work on January 11, 2021, and work the entire legislative session that should be finished around the beginning of May 2021.”  “Pages will receive $9.28 per hour for 40 hours per week. Pay periods are every two weeks.”

A number of young people from Warren and Madison Counties have served as pages over the past several years, in both the Senate, the House and other parts of state government. As far as I know they have all enjoyed the experience. In addition to the specific tasks performed by the pages, a highlight is that the Senate and House pages are present during the debate on the many bills that are considered in the legislature. They see first hand how laws are debated, possibly amended, and passed.

Applications can be made at; https://www.legis.iowa.gov/careers/apply?pid=124.

Author: Julian Garrett