The bird flu outbreak has hit the Iowa poultry industry hard and affects thousands of workers. It is expected that 1,500 workers will lose their jobs due to the outbreak and resulting economic devastation to the egg and chicken industry in the state. Iowa's governor appealed to President Obama in June for a disaster declaration in order to receive federal aid to recover from the economic loss to the state. The outbreak affects 77 infected poultry facilities in 18 counties. Over 33 million turkeys and chickens either died or were euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease. The lost value of the birds is $83.6 million. Iowa produces 16 billion eggs per year, equating to 17% of the nation's total.
438 workers from the egg industry have already sought unemployment benefits. Thousands more are expected to follow as there will be a significant amount of time where there will no work for these employees as the industry gets back on its feet - egg-laying operations are expected to need 1-2 years to return to full operation. These workers who depend on the poultry industry are out of work and will continue to be out of work for some time, necessitating the state unemployment benefits program to protect them in the interim and while they look for other work.
If you have lost your job due to the bird flu outbreak, call us today to assist you in obtaining unemployment benefits.