State reinstates job-search requirement for unemployment benefits beginning June

People on unemployment will be required to search for work once again at the end of the month.

At a news conference Thursday, Gov. David Ige announced that the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations will once again require people claiming unemployment insurance benefits to apply for at least three jobs a week in order to qualify.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Hawaii waived the job search requirements for unemployment as required by federal law. Now, however, Ige said the time has come to “re-energize the workforce,” and will reinstate the search for work requirement on May 30 — claimants will need to report at least three job search contacts beginning the first week of June, and every subsequent week.

Ige said the state will not suspend any federal unemployment programs, such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or the $300 unemployment supplement, for the time being.

DLIR director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio said PUA beneficiaries will not have to search for work. Nor will people who are only partially unemployed or attached to a union.

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