The Arkansas Department of Commerce, Division of Workforce Services (DWS) announced June 24 that the work search requirement for Unemployment Insurance will be back in effect beginning June 28. When claiming benefits for the week ending July 4 and after, individuals will have to report the number of job contacts they made that week, according to a news release.


The number of contacts required is based on geographic location. Individuals receiving regular unemployment benefits or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) who live in larger metropolitan areas must make three contacts a week.


The larger metropolitan statistical areas include: Benton, Cleveland, Craighead, Crittenden, Faulkner, Garland, Grant, Jefferson, Lincoln, Lonoke, Madison, Miller, Perry, Poinsett, Pulaski, Saline, Sebastian, and Washington counties.


Individuals residing in rural areas must make two job contacts each week.


Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants have the same requirements, except for those who are self-employed. Self-employed PUA claimants must be engaged in activities designed to resume their usual self-employment, rather than making job contacts. Self-employed PUA claimants should enter the number of days on which they were engaged in activities designed to resume their usual self-employment.


Those claiming Extended Benefits will have enhanced work search requirements and must provide a written log of job contacts each week in order to receive benefits. Individuals receiving EB who live in larger metropolitan statistical areas must make four job contacts a week while those in rural areas must make three.


Individuals with recall to work dates that are within 10 weeks of their initial or additional claim filing date are exempt from the work search requirements. If the recall to work date is more than 10 weeks, the individual must do the required work search. In order to receive the work search exemption, a claimant must provide DWS with a written letter from their employer that includes the claimant’s name, last four digits of the claimant’s SSN, their last day of work, and the date to be recalled to work. Claimants will need to mail or deliver the letter to their local Arkansas Workforce Center.


Job seekers are strongly encouraged to visit the state’s online job portal Arkansas JobLink (AJL) at www.arjoblink.arkansas.gov. Create a Job Seeker account to add a resume, access thousands of jobs, connect with employers who are hiring, and learn about other resources and services.


The agency also invites business owners, hiring managers, HR representatives and the like to create employer accounts, browse resumes and connect with qualified job candidates. Details: Arkansas Division of Workforce Services at https://www.dws.arkansas.gov/contact/ or 1-855-225-4440 or 501-682-2121.