Unemployment claimants in Washington must start job search activities


A sign at the headquarters for Washington state’s Employment Security Department at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Beginning this week, in order to remain eligible for unemployment benefits, claimants must complete three approved job search activities per week and document them.

With support from the state Legislature, Gov. Inslee had suspended job search requirements at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The suspension was extended until July 2021.

“Claimants are definitely getting the message that it’s time to start looking for work. And we’ll be emphasizing that over and over and over and over again,” Joy Adams with the Employment Security Department told KIRO Radio.

Required actions include:

  • At least three approved job search activities each week if you are receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).
  • At least one approved job search activity each week if you are receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

Claimants must begin their job search activities this week (July 4 to July 10), and they must report those activities starting next week (July 11 to July 17, and every week they need benefits after that.

Thanks to a new law that passed the Legislature earlier this year, Adams said the list of approved job search activities has expanded. Some examples include: Set up an account on, attend an in-person or virtual job fair or hiring event, and participate in LinkedIn Learning certified courses. Get the full list here.

The bill that passed the Legislature also gave ESD the flexibility to modify the job search requirement for the entire state or for certain regions during future times of crisis, without needing the governor and Legislature to issue a proclamation.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk and Nicole Jennings contributed to this report.


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