Tag Archives: FAQ Friday

How do I Stay Eligible for Unemployment Insurance Benefits?

Note: This blog post was updated Nov. 23, 2016, with new information throughout the article.

To stay eligible for unemployment insurance benefits once you have applied for benefits, you must complete a weekly certification at labor.idaho.gov/claimantportal. Click here for instructions. You must also be working less than full time, be available and physically and mentally able to work and actively seeking full-time employment. You also must be willing and able to work all the days and hours normal for the type of work you seek. Finally, you need to remain in the area unless you are seeking work outside of where you live.

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FAQ Friday – What Are the Best Sources of Occupational Information?

occupational outlookFor 66 years, Americans have relied on the Occupational Outlook Handbook when making decisions about their future careers. Since 1948, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has published a new version of the handbook every two years.  Since the mid-1990s, the book has been published online. 

In December, the bureau unveiled the 2014-15 publication. For the next two years, when you read articles or hear presentations about occupations in the U.S., the information will likely be based on the handbook. It is the ultimate source of information about tasks, conditions of work, wages, outlook, skills and training for hundreds of occupations. 

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FAQ Friday – Why are Work Search Contacts Required?

Why are we are now required to include work search contact details on our weekly continued claim reports? 

We have always required job seekers to keep records of their work search contacts. What’s changed is now you can save yourself some time by using our work search log to gather the information and enter it electronically in your weekly continued claim report, allowing us to capture the information in a timelier manner.

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?

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FAQ Friday – How Much Should a Part-Time Worker Be Paid?

Q. How much should a part-time worker earn compared with a full-time worker?

A. We often hear questions from employers and job seekers about wages. Some employers assume part-time workers should receive lower hourly wages than full-time workers. Others think the wage should be higher because part-time workers don’t receive the same benefits as full-time workers.

Who’s right? It depends. Ultimately, the labor market is like any other market. If a business is not finding a high quality product (skilled workers) at a price (wage) it currently offers, then it needs to up the ante. Employers should also consider the difference in benefits, when making the decision what salary to offer. Local labor market wages can be found on the Idaho Department of Labor’s labor market information website.

If the part-time workers need less experience or skills than full-time workers, perhaps they will accept a lower compensation package—including wages and benefits.
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FAQ Friday: I collected unemployment last year. Do I need to report it on my taxes?

 Q. Are unemployment insurance benefits taxable?

A. Yes. Unemployment insurance benefits are fully taxable and you are required to file a tax return for payments received or repaid.

 Q. What do I need from the Department of Labor to file my taxes?

A. If you collected unemployment insurance benefits in 2013, you’ll receive a summary of the benefits you received from the Idaho Department of Labor by the end of January. This form, otherwise known as an IRS form 1099-G, will be sent to your last known address. It’s your responsibility to make sure the Idaho Department of Labor has the most recent and correct address. If your address has changed, go to labor.idaho.gov/iw and update it online, even if you are no longer filing. IMPORTANT: YOUR 1099-G WILL INCLUDE YOUR ENTIRE SOCIAL SECUIRTY NUMBER, AS REQUIRED BY THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE. FAILURE TO UPDATE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS COULD RESULT IN YOUR 1099-G GOING TO THE WRONG ADDRESS AND PUT YOUR IDENTITY AT RISK.

Q. Can I access my 1099-G information online?

A. Yes. You can download your 2013 payment information from www.labor.idaho.gov/iw. All you have to do is select the ‘YearEnd 1099G’ option and print the information.

Q. What if I disagree with the amount listed on my 1099-G?

A. You can also verify the payments you received online at www.labor.idaho.gov/iw. Select the ‘Payment Summary’ option. If you still have questions, call us at (208) 332-8942.

Q. What if I re-paid an overpayment in 2013?

A. A 1099-G will be mailed to you and will include any repayments received in 2013, excluding penalties and interest.

 Q. What if I did not receive a W-2 from my employer? Can you give me that information? 

A. We are not allowed to provide employer tax identification numbers. Please contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for help obtaining your W-2.

Q. What if I have already filed my taxes by the time I received by 1099-G form?

A. We are not authorized to instruct you on how unemployment insurance affects your taxes. Please contact the Idaho State Tax Commission at (208) 334-7660, (800) 972-7660 or the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040

 Q. What if I have other questions about my taxes?

A. We are not authorized to instruct you on how unemployment insurance affects your taxes. Please contact the Idaho State Tax Commission at (208) 334-7660, (800) 972-7660 or the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040.



FAQ Friday – Where can I find sample job descriptions?

Q. Smart employers write and job seekers ask to see job descriptions during the employee recruitment process. Where can they find them?

A. Job descriptions are vital in the recruitment, interviewing and selection of new employees and serve as the foundation for determining what kind of workers will best fill job openings.

From a job seeker’s perspective, a good job description spells out what the job entails and gives them a good sense of whether their skills and experience are suitable for a job. If they lack a skill that’s vital in the job description, they can determine if they need more training — whether through a class, job shadowing or online learning. Looking carefully at job descriptions in a particular field can also help a job seeker see how their skills, interests and experience might square with the competition. A smart job seeker carefully compares the requirements of jobs they’re interested against their résumé and cover letter to make sure they are clearly showing the skills, experience and education required for the position.

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FAQ Friday – How do I know if my work search contacts are valid?

Editor’s note: This article was updated on July 3, 2017, to clarify content under Invalid Contacts.

If you are unemployed and collecting benefits you are now required to make and report two valid contacts with potential employers each week for full-time work. Not sure what counts as a valid contact?  Read on:

Valid Contacts:

Asking someone with hiring authority about employment opportunities and submitting an application when the employer is not accepting applications or resumes. If you list this as a valid contact and the company says they aren’t hiring but would gladly accept an application, then we expect you to submit an application.

• Applying for positions in a very specialized area. The department does not dictate what type of work you must apply for as long you are able to find and report at least two contacts per week, you meet our requirement. If you are looking for specialized work and exhaust your opportunities in that field, you must expand your job search.

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