Assistance Available to Help Connect Californians with Suitable Careers

Sacramento — As California reopens following the pandemic, the Employment Development Department (EDD) announced that starting Jul. 11, Californians receiving unemployment benefits should begin looking for work to maintain their eligibility. 

EDD will be sending notices to claimants to inform them of the reinstatement of this requirement and what it means for them.

“California offers many resources to help people to find safe and suitable careers and training opportunities that keep the economy moving,” said EDD Director Rita Saenz. “We want to make sure those on unemployment have enough lead time to start searching for work so they can remain eligible for benefits as they seek their next career opportunity.”

The requirement to search for work has been a part of the unemployment insurance program since its inception. During the pandemic, the federal government temporarily allowed states to waive this requirement, and since March 2020, the work search requirement has been suspended in California. 

When claimants were asked if they had looked for work when completing their weekly certification for benefits, they could answer “No” and maintain their eligibility for benefits. As California reopens, most claimants will need to answer “Yes” next month to maintain eligibility.

EDD offers many services to assist people looking for safe and suitable work and get training. That includes the CalJOBS online labor exchange system, as well as the job search assistance, resume and interview preparation, and access to job training available through America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) locations throughout the state.

CalJOBS is a no-cost virtual job center with hundreds of thousands of job postings and tools to help people find work. It is also an excellent resource where employers can post job openings and find qualified job seekers to fill their positions. CalJOBS includes over a million job listings from dozens of private job boards and recruitment sites, Fortune 1,000 companies, educational institutions, thousands of local, state, and federal agencies, hundreds of healthcare organizations, and many more public, private, and private non-profit employers.

Work Search Requirement for Unemployment Insurance

Claimants on regular unemployment or extension claims are expected to search for work in order to maintain eligibility for benefits. This requirement applies to finding suitable work that is safe to return to and is comparable to the worker’s skills, experience, usual occupation, age, and health.

EDD will be sending notices to claimants in the coming weeks about any requirements on their specific claims. Individuals starting new claims on or after Jul. 11 will also be notified by mail that they must register on CalJOBS—the largest job board in California.

Examples of reasonable efforts to search for suitable work each week include activities such as:

  • Prepare for Job Searches – Set up an account on CalJOBS, participate in reemployment services, post a profile on various job search or networking sites.
  • Expand Networks – Let friends, prior employers, or community members know you are looking for work. Participate in networking, job fair events, or clubs.
  • Apply for Suitable Work – Apply for positions with employers reasonably expected to have suitable openings matching skills and experience, including government jobs and exams.
  • Participate in Training – Engage in permissible education and training opportunities that assist in obtaining employment and do not interfere with an ability to accept suitable full-time work.

Claimants who engage in any of these activities can answer “Yes” to the question “Did you look for work?” that is asked every two weeks when certifying for benefits. A person who answers “No” will be asked further questions and may be scheduled for an interview to determine benefit eligibility for that time period.

Visit Work Sharing Program for more information.