Idaho Work Search Requirements

If you are receiving unemployment benefits, you should develop a realistic plan to become re-employed.

You are required to make a good faith effort to seek full-time work each week you claim benefits, even if you are employed part time. We require at least two employment contacts per week. Never assume that you are not required to look for work.

You are also required to register for work at

How do I report my work search?

Unless you have specifically been told that you do not have to actively look for work, you are required to look for a full-time job. In fact, you are required to complete two employer contacts or work search activities each week you file a claim for unemployment benefit

When you file your weekly certification at, you will be asked to enter your work search contacts. We will ask how you applied for the position and for the companies’ contact information. You can save yourself some time by using the work search log to gather the information so you have it ready when you file your weekly certification application.

Do I have to look for work if I have a seasonal job?

Seasonal employees are not automatically exempt from seeking work. Job attached designations for seasonal workers are limited to 16 weeks of reduction of hours or layoff. This is applied statewide – with no exceptions to the rule. Enforcing the policy statewide has eliminated the difficulty – and often inequity – of assessing seasonal conditions that vary significantly from one region of the state to another.

If claimants do not have a definite return-to-work date within 12 weeks of their layoff or reduction in hours, they must look for work. We aren’t saying you can’t go back to your previous employer, but you will need to look for work during the time you are off. It may be in an occupation that is busy during a time opposite your normal industry. For example, someone who works as a U.S. Forest Service lookout in the summer could go to work driving a school bus in the fall and winter months.

Remember, if you file your claim and you are instructed to look for work, you are not coded in the system as job-attached. You will be expected to seek work unless otherwise instructed. Please call us at (208) 332- 8942 with questions.

Last time I claimed unemployment insurance, I didn’t have to look for work during a seasonal layoff because I planned to go back to work for the same employer. What happened?

You may have been required to look for work but didn’t realize it because our weekly certification application did not require information about your weekly contacts. Now that the weekly certification application requires this information, there is no confusion about work search requirements.

Do I have to look for work if I belong to a union?

It depends. Union members are not automatically exempt from seeking work. Your work search requirements could be waived if you are an active member of a union that regularly refers you to full-time work. You will be asked questions regarding union membership during the claim application process to determine your proper work search responsibilities.

What if the online weekly report is asking for my work search contacts, but I am job-attached?

Never assume you are job attached. You are expected to seek work as you certify to when you file your unemployment claim. If you are unsure about your job-seeking requirements, contact us at (208) 332-8942.

Where does it tell me I have to look for work and keep a record of my contacts?

We have tried to ensure the information is easy to understand and accessible throughout the claim filing process. Work search requirements are listed in a couple of places.

1. There is an acknowledgement page that must be completed acknowledging work search requirements during your claim application process.

2. The information is on pages 8 and 9 of the Rights & Responsibilities pamphlet mailed to claimants after they file their claim.

We have also included the information on Web pages such as the Work Search Requirements, Frequently Asked Questions and on other blog posts.

What is a valid work-search contact?

 Contacts must be for wage work.
 A contact may be made online, in person, by mail, email or over the phone.
 All contacts must be made with a person who has hiring authority, and applications must be submitted where accepted.
 Self-employment or independent contract work contacts are not valid.
 The same employer(s) may not be used for required contacts in consecutive weeks.
 An online contact is only valid if it results in an online application being completed or a resume being submitted; simply searching websites such as or is not valid.
 A friend or relative who works for the company you are applying for is not a valid contact.
 If you are employed part time, you may not use your current employer as a job contact.

What is an acceptable work-search activity or job contact?

To ensure you have met your work search requirements you should:
• Submit an application, resume, cover letter or letter of interest.
• Interview for a position.
• Meet with an Idaho Department of Labor staff member for work search assistance.
• Attend a Labor local office or employer-sponsored workshop.
• Attend a job seeker event such as: job fair, virtual job fair, hiring event, networking opportunity event or jobclub event.
• Attend an interview preparation class or participate in a mock interview.
• Register with a staffing service, recruiter or placement agency.
• Use employer-provided placement services.
• Complete employer-required prerequisites for a job, such as background check, drug testing,etc.
• Network or meet with others in your career field in an attempt to obtain work.
• Attend a mandatory reemployment assessment (RESEA) interview.

What is NOT accepted as a work-search activity or contact?

Your work search effort will not meet unemployment insurance requirements if you: • Contact your most recent employer.
• Repeat employer contacts.
• Check on a position for which you have already applied.
• Apply for work you are not qualified for (i.e. do not have the skills or education to perform thejob).
• Fail to apply as directed by employer (i.e. failing to submit an online application when an employer tells you to apply online).

Is there anything else I have to do?

You also may be required to participate in an in-person interview with a workforce consultant at your local Idaho Department of Labor office. The interview is designed to help you return to work in the shortest time possible. The consultant may assist you with labor market information, resumes and innovative ideas for seeking work. If you are selected to participate, you will be notified by mail. Failure to participate will result in your benefits being stopped.

Make your contacts count:

Remember, you are required to register for work at Please call or visit your nearest local office for work search help. We offer many free services, including workshops on specific work search topics.

Unemployment references:

Unemployment can be complicated, but we have tools to help you. For more information on your unemployment insurance rights and responsibilities, visit