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Posted on May 20, 2021 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

HONOLULU – Hawai‘i residents currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits will again be required to prove they are searching for work.

Gov. David Ige and the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced the job search requirement that was suspended during the pandemic, will be reinstated starting May 30, 2021.

Under the reinstated requirement, claimants must make at least three job search contacts per week. This includes registering for work on HireNet Hawai‘i, applying for jobs by submitting a resume, or attending a job fair. Individuals must keep a written log of job contacts and must be ready to submit the log to the UI Division upon request. Failure to do so could result in ineligibility for UI benefits.

The reinstated job search requirement applies to individuals who have lost their full-time jobs and are on regular unemployment or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. Individuals who are still attached to their regular full-time employer, are members of a union that provides job placement services, or are receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA ) benefits are not mandated by law to meet the job search requirement.

“When the pandemic shut down global tourism, there was no work for people in the hospitality sector. In response, the state relaxed the job search requirement for recipients of unemployment insurance benefits. Today, the public health measures we implemented and the success of our vaccine program have paved the way for us to reenergize our economy. As tourism has picked up, more employers are looking for workers to fill positions,” said Gov. David Ige.

“Our goal is to reemploy the unemployed and it is our hope that by reinstating the work search requirement, it will help more unemployed workers connect with available job openings,” said DLIR Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio. “Whenever there is a change to Hawaii’s unemployment insurance process, questions arise from both claimants and employers. We’re pleased to announce we have created a new website to answer frequently asked questions as well as to provide updates.”

Claimants can find additional information on specific programs such as PUA, and alerts related to fraud protection and security. Employers can find information on how to report individuals who refuse to return to work or accept an offer of suitable work, which is grounds for UI ineligibility.

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