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California EDD changes requirements to show proof of job hunting

Posted at 11:03 PM, Jun 18, 2021

California’s Employment Development Department announced Thursday that those receiving unemployment benefits will need to start looking for work by July 11 to maintain their eligibility.

Finney’s manager, Ashley Cutter, said she can’t wait for this date to come, because she needs all the help she can get.

“Every position you can think of. We need it,” said Cutter.

Cutter says she’s been looking to fill positions at Finney’s since March. As California’s economy is reopening, her current employees are getting overworked.

“They’ve been putting in more hours, working longer days, working 6 days a week,” said Cutter.

Like many businesses hiring, she’s been using every outlet to post job listings. And even though applications are coming in, people aren’t showing up.

Some businesses and staffing agencies partly blame unemployment benefits as the cause of the labor shortage.

“Today alone I had 3 interviews scheduled within a 15 minute period and no one showed up,” said Cutter. “You get nice weather like this and people just are choosing the beach over the opportunity to pay their bills.”

The requirement to search for work had previously been part of the unemployment insurance program. But during the pandemic, the federal government temporarily allowed states to waive this requirement since March 2020.

Since then, California has processed more than 20 million unemployment claims and period out more than $128 billion in benefits. But for the past four months, California has had four consecutive months of six figure job gains.

“Now that things are starting to open back up, we have a lot of positions open. A lot of clients searching for employees. Then we’re finding a lot of employees are not wanting to work,” said Excel Personnel Senior Recruiter, Latoya Olibas.

Excel Personnel Services, a staffing agency in Lompoc, says positions they’re seeing the most hiring for right now are accounts receivable, payroll and warehouse jobs.

Even though the end to unemployment benefits for those not looking for work was just announced Thursday, they’re already seeing an increase in calls.

“I would say in the last two weeks we’ve had a lot more volume of resumes coming through,” said Olibas.

And for those looking for work, Olibas says the job market is hot.

“Keep looking for it. There’s a lot of positions open. There’s a ton of clients that we have where their positions have been open for quite some time,” said Olibas.

The State’s Employment Development Department will be sending notices to claimants to inform them of the change.