Frequently Asked Questions -

What is is a website that lists the Unemployment Job Search Requirements for the different states.

Where did you get this information?

All information on has been compiled from the state handbooks and other official state websites.

What are Work Search Requirements?

Federal and state laws mandate that you continue to search for work in order to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. "Work Search Requirements" refers to the Work Search Activities needed to fulfill those requirements.

What are Work Search Activities?

A "Work Search Activity" is an activity one does when normally searching for work.

Examples of Work Search Activities can include:
  • Meeting with Career Center advisors;
  • Getting information from Career Center staff about jobs that may be available in a particular industry or region;
  • Participating in instructional workshops
  • Getting job referrals and job matches from the Career Center and following up with employers.
  • Visiting a job site and completing a job application in person with employers who may be reasonably expected to have openings.
  • Submitting a job application and/or resume in response to a public notice or want ad or to employers who may reasonably be expected to have openings.
  • Attending job search seminars, scheduled career networking meetings, job fairs or employment-related workshops that offer instruction to improve job-hunting skills.
  • Interviewing with possible employers.
  • Applying for employment with former employer(s).
  • Registering with and checking in with private employment agencies, placement services, unions and placement offices of schools, colleges or universities and/or professional organizations.
  • Using the telephone, business directories, internet or online job-matching systems to search for jobs, get leads, request referrals or make appointments for job interviews.
  • Applying and/or registering for and taking Civil Service examination(s) for government job openings.
  • Participating in virtual career workshops
States may require you perform a minimum number of job search activities every week.

What happens if I don't do the requirements?

Actively searching for work is a basic eligibility requirement to receive unemployment benefits. The state can audit you any time during your benefit year, and afterwards, to ask for proof of your work search efforts. If you have no proof or if the state deems your work search efforts to be inadequate, you may be disqualified from the UI program as well as have to pay back unemployment benefits with penalties, fines, and interest.

Are Work Search Requirements waived during COVID-19?

Many states waived the work search requirement because of COVID-19. Other states did not officially waive them, but have not enforced them. However, as the economy begins to re-open, states are reinstating those requirements and may start enforcing them more strictly. It is your responsibility to know whether or not you are exempt from doing the required work search activities. There may be other factors exempting someone from the requirements, such as belonging to a Union. Check your state's unemployment website and state's handbook if you are unsure. If in doubt, it is safer to do them rather than not doing them.

What are good Work Search Activities I can do during the Pandemic?

Stay safe! The best work search activities are those that can be done remotely. We highly recommend virtual career workshops, they count as work search activities and can be completed online, so no risk exposing to COVID-19 unlike activities such as attending a job fair.