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Kentucky reinstates job search requirement for unemployment benefits

Updated: Apr. 23, 2021 at 5:02 PM CDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Unemployed Kentuckians soon will be required to prove they are searching for work at least once a week in order to receive benefits, a rule that was waived by Gov. Andy Beshear at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

The change will go into effect May 9. Claimants must provide proof of their job search when they request benefits.

Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, President and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc., told WAVE 3 News many job opportunities are available, but some businesses are having trouble finding people to fill the positions.

“As vaccinations increase and case counts decrease and we find ourselves coming out of this pandemic, businesses are trying to get people hired, and that has been quite a struggle,” Davasher-Wisdom said.

There are many reasons for the lull in job applications according to Davasher-Wisdom, however, she believes people aren’t applying mainly because they cannot find childcare for students in hybrid learning, and unemployed Kentuckians have not had to search for a job in order to receive benefits.

“While we certainly understand the need for people to have those benefits, it was at a point where there were some people who were making more on unemployment than they were in the workforce,” Davasher-Wisdom said. “That’s one of the reasons we are excited about this work search requirement, because we believe that by requiring people to search for work, we’ll be able to get people back into the workforce, and businesses will be able to more quickly find people.”

Amy Cubbage, Gov. Beshear’s General Counsel, told reporters during a recent news conference that unemployed Kentuckians will be given a reasonable amount of time to find work comparable to what they had in the past.

“If you’re not able to find comparable work after a reasonable period of time, or if it’s not available in your area, you can adjust that work search, and you may have to look for a job that may pay less or is located further away from your home,” Cubbage said.

Some groups are exempt from the job search requirement. Those include members of unions that find work for them, students in training programs, those laid off with a recall date within 12 weeks of their initial claim date, those taking a temporary leave of absence, and people who are part of a mass electronically-filed claim.

GLI has posted job opportunities here, and the group is encouraging the public to support local businesses.

For other job openings across Kentucky, click here.

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