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Holcomb reinstates work search requirement for unemployment recipients

Unemployment benefit claimants have not needed to complete weekly work search activities since the beginning of the pandemic.
Credit: AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb delivers his State of the State address virtually, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb officially reinstated the requirement for people who are unemployed to be actively looking for full-time work.

The state has waived the requirement since the beginning of the pandemic. However, late last week Holcomb's office issued a statement about the future of pandemic-related unemployment benefits in the state. 

RELATED: Holcomb to reinstate requirement that unemployment claimants actively seek, be available for work

As promised, Holcomb signed an executive order on Tuesday reinstating the requirement. 

Starting June 1, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) will once again require a weekly work search report from Hoosiers claiming unemployment benefits. Work search activities include applying for a job, attending a job fair, participating in a WorkOne orientation, or completing an online workshop. 

Last week the governor asked the DWD to complete a demographic analysis of unemployed Hoosiers over the past 16 months. 

"Part of that analysis is to compare our workforce now versus before the start of the pandemic," Holcomb said last week. "Our unemployment rate stands at 3.9 percent, which is near pre-pandemic levels, and our labor force mirrors pre-pandemic levels, when we also had worker shortages. We must concentrate on building the right pathways to match people with the skill sets employers need and to attract more people to join our workforce."

Holcomb said he would use this information from the DWD to decide whether the state should continue to participate in federal pandemic unemployment programs.  

Montana and South Carolina announced early last week that they planned to end participation in a federal supplemental unemployment benefit program.

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