Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the work search requirement to receive unemployment has been waived in the state of Michigan.

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That is about to change.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Stephanie Glidden, chief of staff Michigan's Unemployment Agency announced the news Tuesday at a House Oversight Committee hearing. The work-search requirement is expected to be reinstated by the end of May.

Claimants having to contact a minimum of two employers every week and report those actions to the UIA had long been a requirement to receive unemployment benefits, prior to the pandemic.

According to the Detroit Free Press,

Business groups, like the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, say their members are complaining that they can't find workers to hire, and place some blame on the fact that the agency isn't checking to see if claimants are searching for work.

Wendy Block, vice president of business advocacy and member engagement for the chamber, said at Tuesday's hearing,

I can't tell you how many phone calls and emails we're getting in from members that are desperate for workers. They're trying to ramp up operations and they just can't find help.

The UIA says that since many of those currently receiving unemployment are doing so for the first time, they're unfamiliar with the work search requirement. The UIA plans to inform claimants on what to expect.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Glidden said,

That will be key. Work search mistakes have proven to be costly for unemployment claimants (because) if they make mistakes, their benefits are in jeopardy.


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