COVID-19

State to resume unemployment job search rule

The rule, meant to ensure those receiving state aid are still looking for work, was waived during most of the pandemic.

Support for unemployed people is about to get a little more difficult in Michigan.

Michigan leaders are poised to reinstate a rule that requires people receiving unemployment benefits to be actively hunting for work in order to qualify. The rule was waived early on in the pandemic in order to offer people support while encouraging them to stay home to keep infection numbers down.

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More than a year after the start of the pandemic, the situation is a little different. Infection numbers, while still high, are on the decline. Vaccines are widely available. And the number of employers looking to fill positions is higher than it has been for over a year.

In fact, some employers say it is downright difficult to find anyone willing to work for them.

“We’re hearing from our members that hiring people right now is harder than it has ever been,” said Brian Calley, the head of the Small Business Association of Michigan, in an interview with Bridge Michigan.

So far, state leaders haven’t set a definite date for when the work-search requirement will begin again, but it’s expected to happen by the end of May.

“Claimants will need to actively search for work and report at least one work search activity per week for each week they claim benefits,” said Lynda Robinson, a spokesperson for the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency.

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