The following is from a release from the Georgia Department of Labor:
What to know: Prior to the pandemic, to be eligible to receive unemployment benefits, claimants were required to register for Employment Services at employgeorgia.com, to actively search for work, and to submit weekly work search reports. These requirementswere temporarily waived during the state’s shelter in place limitations but will be reinstated in the next few months.
Georgia’s work search record may include, but is not limited to, registering for work and reemployment services with Employ Georgia, completing a job application in person or online, mailing a job application or resume, making in-person visits with potential employers, interviewing with potential employers, registering for work with employment or placement agencies, or participating in work-related networking events (e.g. job clubs, job fairs, industry association events, networking groups, etc.).
A claimant will be required to make at least three new, verifiable job search contacts each week. Individuals not returning to work when work is available or those that do not show good cause in refusing an offer of work could potentially be disqualified from receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits.
Employers are asked to report refusals to work and failure to show up for interviews to the GDOL. Notifications will soon be sent to claimants advising of these changes to the requirements and encouraging them to take action immediately by registering with Employ Georgia before the deadline to avoid interruptions in their payments. Video tutorial on how to register and utilize EmployGa are available at https://employgeorgia.com/.
One key reason for the change?
“We are hearing from employers that are struggling to meet demand right now due to the lack of applicants for open positions,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Our mission is to not only bridge the pay gap for those who are temporarily unemployed, but to also provide reemployment support for those who are looking to reenter the workforce filling the critical vacancies we are seeing in almost every industry right now. I hear every day from employers who have been forced to reduce business hours, refuse large deliveries, and turn down economic opportunities due to the simple fact that they did not have the staff to support them.”
The GDOL has paid over $21.2 billion in state and federal benefits since the beginning of the pandemic in March of this year. Last week, the GDOL issued almost $190 million in benefits, which include regular unemployment and federally funded Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplements, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and State Extended Benefits.
Since week ending March 21, 2020, 4,745,554 regular UI initial claims have been processed, more than the nine years prior to the pandemic combined (4 million). Last week, regular UI initial claims totaled 25,429, down 3,335 over the week. Additionally, the agency currently has 207, 638 active PUA claims.
- Hundreds of jobs available here but ‘we just can’t find people to fill them.’ Employers point to pandemic benefits where ‘folks can make over $16 an hour not working.’
- Immediate benefits, flexible hours, retention bonuses after 30 days — these are some of the tools employers are trying to fill 400-plus local jobs. longevity bonuses
- Who’s hiring now? More than 50 employers posted openings on our special Facebook page this week. It offers a cross section of immediate opportunities here.