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Georgia Dept of Labor Reinstates Work Search For Unemployment Claimants

Last week, the Georgia Department of Labor ended the state’s participation in the federal unemployment insurance (UI) programs enacted through the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act. The last payable week for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) was week ending June 26, 2021. Beginning Sunday, July 4, 2021, claimants will be required to submit work search by submitting evidence of three verifiable contacts of work search activities as part of the weekly certification process.

“Work search and registration with EmployGeorgia is part of the reemployment process,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Unemployment insurance payments serve as a financial support for claimants, but the real support comes from the connection of job seekers with open positions.”

Claimants who reside in the state of Georgia must register with EmployGeorgia, the state’s reemployment website, and include his/her social security number during registration. Individuals will be asked to create a resume or upload a searchable resume to the site. 

Per Georgia law, claimants can only be paid for weeks during which he or she actively seek work, including a minimum of three new reportable job contacts each week. These contacts must be with employers not previously contacted. Employer contacts can include those made in person, by telephone, online, or by resumes faxed, mailed, or emailed. Failure to submit records of at least three work search contacts weekly may result in a denial of benefits, delayed payment, or possible overpayment and penalties.

Claimants are required to keep a detailed record of work search activities and submit evidence on the GDOL website as a part of weekly certification. The GDOL encourages claimants to develop a realistic work search plan to find reemployment and verifies work search contacts. Claimants can be selected at any time for an audit or eligibility review. Individuals must perform work search activities at least three days per week to include, but is not limited to, developing a work search plan, applying for jobs, interviewing, attending job fairs, and developing resumes.

The record of employer contacts should include the following:

  • date of contact
  • name of the company or other identifying information, such as a job reference number
  • person contacted
  • company address, phone number, email, or web address
  • position title
  • method of contact
  • results of contact

More information on work search can be found on the GDOL website and work search can be submitted at Weekly Work Search.  It is recommended claimants submit work search information immediately upon completing weekly certification. For more information about unemployment insurance requirements and how to meet them, claimants can reference the Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook online at dol.georgia.gov.

Today, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced it has processed 4,939,214 regular unemployment insurance (UI) claims since March 21, 2020, more than the last 10 years prior to the pandemic combined (4.8 million).

As of today, over 223,000 jobs are listed on EmployGeorgia for Georgians to access.  EmployGeorgia uses artificial intelligence to match an individual’s skills to potential jobs. Claimants receive access to job listings, support to upload up to five searchable resumes, job search assistance, career counseling, skills testing, job fair information, job training services, and accessibility and special accommodations for people with disabilities and veterans transitioning back into the workplace. Video tutorials on how to register and utilize EmployGeorgia are available at https://employgeorgia.com//. 

The GDOL has paid almost $22.7 billion in state and federal benefits in the past sixty-seven weeks.  Last week, the GDOL issued $158 million in benefits, which included regular unemployment and federally funded Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplements, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and State Extended Benefits.

Last week, regular UI initial claims totaled 20,749, up 51 over the week. Initial claims are defined as any notice of unemployment filed to request a determination of entitlement to or eligibility of unemployment insurance compensation OR to begin a second or subsequent period of eligibility within a benefit year. Initial claims numbers are not a direct correlation to layoffs. 

Resources for reemployment assistance along with Information on filing an unemployment claim and details on how employers can file partial claims can be found on the agency’s webpage at dol.georgia.gov.

For more information on jobs and current labor force data, visit the Georgia Labor Force Market Explorer at www.explorer.gdol.ga.gov to view a comprehensive report.  


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