TWC reinstates job search requirements for unemployment benefits recipients — here’s what you need to know

El Paso News

In this photo illustration, a person files an application for unemployment benefits on April 16, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is reinstating work search requirements for individuals receiving unemployment benefits. The reinstatement means that when people receiving unemployment benefits, they must have completed three work searches a week. 

On Tuesday, the TWC announced the stipulation — which had been waived amid the COVID-19 pandemic — will take effect on Nov. 1. 

The TWC has been working to reinstate the job search requirement since the summer, but stalled once cases began to surge and Texas rolled back its reopenings. 

Looking for a job is a condition of receiving unemployment benefits in the state of Texas that must be registered at workintexas.com, which currently reports more than 600,000 jobs to fill in Texas. 

Qualifying work search activities include:

  • Registering on workintexas.com 
  • Conducting a job search on workintexas.com and using the virtual recruiter tool
  • Acquiring and reaching out to job contacts 
  • Registering at a public workforce office 
  • Mailing a job application and/or resume as instructed by a public job notice
  • Creating a reemployment plan
  • Creating or uploading a resume to online job search boards and sites 

For more information on all acceptable activities constitute a job search, click here.

The TWC does not require benefit recipients to provide proof of job searches, but can request it at any point. 

People receiving unemployment benefits can protect themselves from potential audits by keeping detailed records of job search activity using this worksheet from TWC: https://www.twc.texas.gov/files/jobseekers/work-search-log-TWC.pdf.

Training videos on the TWC website are available and will also be counted as job search activities. The program features thousands of training sessions that contribute to professional development. 

Rates of unemployment in El Paso have fluctuated during the months since the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. 

Since 2016, El Paso had hovered between 3 and 5 percent unemployment. 

The unemployment rate in El Paso on March 31 was 5.10 percent. By April 30 the percentage climbed to 14.5 percent but has steadily dropped. 

As of Aug. 31, the unemployment rate was  6.9 percent.

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