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Unemployment Job Search Requirements

Unemployment Job Search and Work Requirements


Woman circling classified ad in newspaper, close-up
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When you are collecting unemployment, you must be available for work and actively seeking employment. Unemployed workers may be required to report on their job search to their state unemployment department. Or, may be required to keep a job search log to provide to the unemployment office upon request.

Unemployment job search requirements vary based on regulations in the state from which you are collecting unemployment benefits, as well as whether you are collecting state unemployment benefits or extended benefits.

Unemployment Available for Work Requirements

Workers who are unemployed must be must be available for suitable work and actively seeking suitable work. At the minimum, this includes being ready to accept work immediately if employment is offered to you. You must also be willing to accept employment for all shifts and days that are normal for your occupation.

You must accept the wage most employers in your area pay for your occupation for someone with your qualifications and experience and must be able to commute a reasonable distance to work. The travel to work requirement could be as much as an hour to an hour and half each way.

The requirements vary based on how long you have been employed and if you are collecting extended benefits. In some cases, you may be required to accept any work you are capable of performing.

Unemployment Work Search Requirements

Depending on the state, unemployed workers may be required to complete a job search log and/or report their job search either online or by sending in a report.

In Washington state, for example, unemployed workers are required to keep a Job Search Log for each week they claim unemployment benefits. There must be a combined total of three employer contacts or approved job search activities each week. The log contain company information, how the contact was made (in-person, phone, online, email, fax), contact name or confirmation of application, and the type of contact.

New York requires unemployed workers to apply to or contact several prospective employers each week. You must also keep a record of your work search that includes the employer name, address, and phone number, date of contact, method of contact, position applied for, whether application taken, and the result of the contact.

Unemployment Job Search Reporting

For unemployment job search and reporting requirements in your site, check with your state unemployment office website.

Unemployment Work Requirements for Union Workers

In most cases, you do not have to personally seek work if you belong to a union that does not allow you to seek work on your own in your occupation. However, you must be in good standing with the union and on the union referral list for work.

Unemployment Resources

The private web sites, and the information linked to both on and from this site, are opinion and information. While I have made every effort to link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only.

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