Indiana restoring work-search rule for jobless benefits

(Supplied/Gov. Eric Holcomb)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana residents receiving unemployment benefits will again have to show they are actively searching for work as the governor Tuesday reinstated a requirement that he lifted soon after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the state.

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order that puts the job search requirement back in place starting June 1.

Indiana is joining several other states creating more requirements for people to stay on unemployment, with many businesses blaming the ease of obtaining the weekly jobless benefits with making it more difficult to fill job openings.

Holcomb said last week he was directing the state Department of Workforce Development for a demographic analysis of unemployed residents while he considered whether to withdraw Indiana from a $300-a-week supplemental federal payment on top of state benefits. The maximum state payment is $390 a week.

“Our unemployment rate stands at 3.9 percent, which is near pre-pandemic levels, and our labor force mirrors pre-pandemic levels, when we also had worker shortages,” Holcomb said in a statement.

The governor’s new order means that those seeking unemployment benefits must submit a weekly report on their job-seeking efforts, which can include applying for work, attending job fairs or participating in state workshops.

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