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Unemployment Insurance: Iowa

Unemployment Insurance requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Stuart R. Buttrick, Susan W. Kline, Samantha M. Rollins and Taylor L. Haran, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP


  • Unemployment insurance is a nationwide program created to provide partial wage replacement to unemployed workers while they conduct an active search for work. Unemployment insurance is a joint federal-state program based on federal law and executed through state law. See Iowa Unemployment Insurance.
  • Employers finance unemployment insurance with state and federal tax contributions. The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) was created to finance all administrative expenses of the federal-state unemployment insurance system and the federal costs involved in providing benefits. The Iowa unemployment tax is used only for the payment of regular benefits to qualified unemployed workers. See Iowa Unemployment Insurance.
  • Iowa's unemployment insurance program is administered by Iowa Workforce Development (IWD). Most employers are subject to the Iowa Employment Security Law. Employers should file a Report to Determine Liability with IWD within 30 days of starting business within the state. See Iowa Unemployment Insurance.
  • Claimants must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits. See Eligibility.
  • Employers must follow certain recordkeeping, notice and posting requirements. See Recordkeeping Requirements; Notice and Posting Requirements.
  • Iowa offers the Voluntary Shared Work Program, a voluntary program to help employers retain a group of employees who would otherwise have been laid off. See Voluntary Shared Work Program.