New regulations proposed for unemployment benefits - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

New regulations proposed for unemployment benefits

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - The required job search would double under a plan moving through Madison.

Last year the department of labor found that three states require those on unemployment to search for jobs at least four times a week.  Wisconsin could become the fourth state.

"Right now the unemployment system requires two weekly job searches to maintain your weekly benefit rate," says workforce resource training coordinator Dan Lytle.

But if the current bill working through the legislature passes, that figure will double the amount of searches someone who's unemployed must conduct.

"It could be stopping in physically and talking to an employer and then marking that as, 'Stopped in with an employer and inquired about any available job openings.'  Could be submitting an online application, a resume," explains Lytle.

However, because Wisconsin's job market relies heavily on tourism, swings can occur when and where jobs are available.

"We've gotten through the winter, and that's always a big change, how people feel things are going to be.  Spring's here so we're going to do new business starts, new buildings are going up," says Dunn County Economic Development executive director, Eric Turner.

With a quota on the number of searches seekers must conduct weekly, they may end up applying to jobs they're not qualified for, leading to a crowded field for employers to sort through.

"We already have that complaint with two job searches, I think we would assume that we may receive some additional complaints from employers just about the more diluted applicant pool," says Lytle.

"It doesn't matter if it's relatively limited skill manufacturing or if it's higher end technology.  It's always important what type of post secondary training our workforce has," says Turner.

Some worry job seekers will face temptation to forge the numbers, but the state unemployment office checks the paperwork.

"They will actually go through and verify that you did make this specific contact with this specific employer, on this specific date.  If that didn't take place, that would be considered a fraudulent job search," says Lytle.

The measure was approved by the joint finance committee yesterday.  The full legislature would have to sign off before it takes effect.

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