Most recipients of Tennessee’s unemployment benefits have to resume looking for work starting this week. The requirement had been waived through much of the pandemic since job hunting so often requires in-person meetings.
The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development says people now have to make at least three potential job contacts and certify the activity each week to receive their check.
The list of exemptions is longer than usual and exempts anyone who is on a temporary layoff with plans to return to the same job.
For those who are self-employed, they’re allowed to use calling on clients or advertising their services as proof that they’re looking for work.
People who are out of work because they have COVID-19, are caring for someone who is sick or keeping a child whose school is closed because of the pandemic are also exempt from the job search requirement (details from the U.S. Department of Labor).
The number of Tennesseans on unemployment has been falling, but there were still more than 225,000 who received unemployment benefit checks last week.
Tennessee is not the first state to reinstate job search requirements. Arkansas, Missouri and Nebraska were already getting back to the usual unemployment rules in July.