Pennsylvania work search requirement returns: What are the changes to unemployment?

July 12, 2021
In The News

 Pennsylvania’s work search requirements will resume this week as pandemic-related policies end across the country.

Residents filing jobless claims are required to actively search for a position to qualify for the benefits. This prerequisite existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and was suspended when Gov. Wolf declared a state of emergency in March 2020.

“One of the biggest things that we’re hearing talking to small businesses is the need for the workforce and people to produce goods or provide services in our communities of people we’re counting on the government to hand out checks,” Rep. Fred Keller, Pennsylvania (R), said. “The best stimulus is a job. People want to work and I think that encouraging.”

The work search requirement includes applying to two jobs every week and participating in one work search-related activity. Per the PA Office of Unemployment Compensation, these activities include:

  • ​Attending a job fair
  • Searching open positions on PA CareerLink® or job posting boards
  • Creating and uploading a resume to PA CareerLink® or job posting boards
  • Seeking networking opportunities
  • Using an employment agency, employment registry or school placement service.
  • Taking a civil service test or other pre-employment test.
  • Participating in a training workshop or event offered through PA CareerLink®

Experts recommend tracking and logging job applications to prove the completion of these tasks.

“Just keep a list or save the email showing if you’ve applied through or LinkedIn or another job site that you’re using,” Matthew Burr, human resources consultant at Burr Consulting LLC., added. “I would forewarn everyone that that $300 extra from the federal government is going to end eventually so it’s probably better to start looking for work now.”

There are some exemptions for the work search requirement including:

  • Individuals who receive work through a union hiring hall
  • Individuals on a Shared Work plan through their employer
  • Individuals in Trade Act training
  • Individuals attending a RESEA session for the week
  • Individuals who have written recall dates from their employer 

Work Search is different from work registration, which is set to return later this year.