Washington state: People on unemployment must look for work

Washington
Keith Srakocic

Hiring signs are posted outside a gas station in Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pa., Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is calling for Washington to immediately stop paying out-of-work Americans an extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits, Friday, May 7, saying the boost in government aid is giving some recipients less incentive to look for work.

SEATTLE (AP) — State officials say people in Washington collecting unemployment benefits will again be required to actively search for work to keep those benefits, starting July 4.

Gov. Jay Inslee had suspended the job-search requirement last spring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the economy recovering, the job search requirement is going back into effect,” the Employment Security Department noted on its unemployment website. “This means you will be required to look for work and document at least three approved job search activities each week in order to remain eligible for unemployment benefits.”

LOCAL ANGLE: Tri-Cities businesses struggle to find new employees

The Seattle Times reports that under the reinstated job-search requirement, claimants are required to begin searching for a job during the week of July 4-10 and must report details of those activities to the ESD beginning the week of July 11 and for every subsequent week they are claiming benefits.

The change comes as the department reported the third straight weekly decline in jobless claims.

Last week, Washingtonians filed 8,868 new, or “initial,” claims for unemployment benefits, a 12.1% decrease from the prior week, the department reported Thursday.

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