Work Search Requirement Returning for UI Claimants

The Vermont Department of Labor announced this week that the work search requirement for unemployment claimants will be reinstated beginning on May 9. Every week that individuals claim unemployment insurance, they will be required to conduct three qualified job contacts. Claimants with a formal return-to-work date within ten weeks of their initial claim are not obligated to search for work. The Vermont Chamber advocated for and supports the reinstatement of the work search requirement, with important exemptions for individuals who cannot safely return to work for health- or child care-related reasons. Vermont employers are currently struggling with a labor shortage across industries. The hospitality industry is short an estimated 9,000 employees.

The ability for employers across the state to rehire furloughed workers and hire new employees is critical to a successful economic restart. Even before the pandemic, Vermont’s workforce was not large enough to satisfy demand for unfilled positions. Reinstatement of the work search requirement for unemployment claimants, which was appropriately suspended for the safety of employers and employees in 2020, will help Vermont secure the workers needed for economic recovery. Specific information on the work search requirement and exemptions can be found at Reach out to our Government Affairs Director Charles Martin with questions.