The Department of Labor and Industry had previously announced that the work search requirements would be reinstituted on July 18. If the resolution passes the Senate, Pennsylvania would follow a majority of states in the country which have reinstituted the mandate as coronavirus cases dropped and businesses reopened.
Before the pandemic, unemployment recipients had to register their job search on PA CareerLink, a state-run workforce development site, within 30 days of applying. After the third week of their benefit year, recipients had to apply to two jobs and do one “work search activity,” such as uploading a resume, each week, to continue receiving unemployment benefits. In states where these activities have already resumed, some unemployment recipients said these systems do not account for reasons why someone may still not be able to work that follow from the pandemic, such as a lack of childcare or ongoing health concerns.
It is also not clear how well the commonwealth will be able to implement them.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry launched a new filing system for claims, replacing 40-year-old technology. State officials did not say if they would be able to accommodate the new criteria to the new system ahead of schedule.
“At this point, we are so focused on making sure that we serve existing claimants with the current requirements of the system that we’re going to have to look at that once we cross that bridge,” said Jennifer Berrier, acting secretary of Labor and Industry.
A spokesperson for the Wolf administration has not yet responded to a request for comment.