Marylanders who want to continue receiving federal unemployment benefits will soon again be required to actively search for work, state Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson said Wednesday.
The announcement comes just one day after a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge issued a preliminary injunction that blocks Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration from bringing an early end to those benefits.
A spokesperson for the governor has said the administration is unlikely to appeal the court’s ruling.
Work search requirements for regular unemployment benefits were reinstated on July 4.
“As of July 18, all unemployment insurance claimants will be required to register with the Maryland Workforce Exchange and actively search for work in order to maintain their eligibility for benefits,” Robinson said in a statement. “With over 250,000 job postings available during the month of May alone, the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE) is a powerful employment tool that can not only connect Maryland’s claimants with jobs, but meaningful careers.”
The MWE is the state’s online job portal and is operated by the Maryland Department of Labor. It has been tracking job postings since 2008. Since the beginning of this year, an average of more than 218,000 job postings have been posted on the portal each month. May alone saw nearly 251,000 job postings on the portal, which is a five-year record.
The portal is designed to make the job search easier by making use of advanced features that help applicants get their resume to employers in a more orderly fashion and providing alerts to notify them that a new job posting has been created. Also included are features that are geared toward guiding applicants with specific skill sets with the appropriate employers.
Upon portal registration, applicants will be required to engage in three approved re-employment activities each week and that includes at least one job contact.
There are 30 re-employment activities approved by the state. Benefits could be delayed or denied to those who do not demonstrate compliance with the re-employment activity requirements.
Maryland’s unemployment rate is 6.1%. The national unemployment rate is 5.9%.