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Job Search Requirement For Unemployment To Return, Federal Benefits On Chopping Block

A human resources representative reads a resume at a drive-thru job fair in Elkhart. (Justin Hicks/IPB News)

Gov. Eric Holcomb said he will require out-of-work Hoosiers to actively search for jobs to remain on unemployment benefits.

He plans to issue an executive order early next week. The work search requirement was waived during the pandemic.

In a statement, Holcomb also said he’s directed the Department of Workforce Development to review the demographics of unemployed Hoosiers over the last 16 months. He wants to determine if Indiana should follow other conservative states in opting out of federal unemployment programs as a way of forcing more people back into the workforce.

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Holcomb said he thinks the unemployment rate and labor force are comparable to pre-pandemic levels. The unemployment rate is currently about half a percentage point higher than March 2020 and there are about 10,000 fewer people in the labor force.

He said the state needs to concentrate on getting people skilled to match employers’ needs.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

Justin Hicks has joined the reporting team for Indiana Public Broadcasting News (IPB News) through funding made available by (IPBS) Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations. Justin will be based out of WVPE in his new role as a Workforce Development Reporter for IPB News. Justin comes to Indiana by way of New York. He has a Master's Degree from the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. He previously earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from Appalachian State University where he played trumpet. He first learned about Elkhart, Indiana, because of the stamp on his brass instrument indicating where it was produced.