Claimants Must Look for Work to Receive Unemployment Benefits


For Immediate Release: April 23, 2021
Media Contacts: Georgia Smith,

Pre-pandemic work search requirements for unemployment insurance claimants will be reinstated starting Sunday, April 25.

Idaho has returned to low unemployment levels with 3.2% for March 2021 after hitting an all-time high 11.6% seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in April 2020. Idaho set the pace for the nation in its economic rebound from the pandemic and was the first state to experience year-to-year job growth.

The work search requirement means Idahoans who are out of work and collecting unemployment benefits will need to look for full-time employment unless they are returning to work with their employer within 16 weeks of their layoff date or are an active member of a work referral union. This is not a new requirement; rather a return to the process from before the pandemic.

Claimants who do not meet their work search requirements will not receive unemployment benefits for the week claimed. Approximately 4,500 claimants will be impacted by this change.

The work search requirements apply to regular and federal CARES Act unemployment insurance programs. Claimants – including self-employed individuals – need to report two work search contacts on their weekly certification application. These work search contacts cannot be self-employment or 1099 gig work.

The most common valid work-search activity is to apply for a job with an application, resume or cover letter. Employment services may also count as valid work search activities. These include setting up an in-person or phone appointment with a Labor workforce consultant for help with interview skills and resumes, on-the-job training, apprenticeships and virtual workshops or job fairs.

Job seekers can get connected with a workforce consultant in their area by filling out this form. Information on upcoming job fairs and workshops can be found on the Labor website calendar of events.

Learn more about Idaho’s work search requirements on the Labor website.

— end —