ATTENTION: Starting July 7, unemployment insurance weekly requirements are changing. For more information, click here.
AVISO: A partir del 7 de julio, los requisitos del seguro de desempleo cambiarán. Para más información, haga clic aquí.

**Starting July 7, you must do five (5) work search actions (previously referred to as work search contacts) each week instead of two (2).**

Almost everyone collecting unemployment insurance (UI) benefits must actively look for work. Each week you claim benefits, you must do at least five (5) work search actions while seeking full-time work.

How will I know if I am required to look for work?

Always assume that you must look for work. You must make an honest effort to find work each week you claim benefits, unless told otherwise.

Your work-seeking requirements will be mailed and emailed to you. You must agree to review these requirements when you apply for benefits.

If you have any questions about your searching for work, call us at (208) 332-8942.

How do I report my work search?

Log in to the Claimant Portal and file your weekly certification. Each weekly certification you file will ask you to add your work search actions.

We will ask you how you applied and for information on the employers you contacted.

You must report work search actions honestly. The department will check these actions with the employers. Lying about your work search is fraud and will result in penalties and denied benefits.

You can use this Work Search Log to track contact information for your weekly report. *Please note: Starting July 7, your work search requirements will change. Please keep this in mind while viewing this version of the work search log.

Do I have to look for work if I have a seasonal job?

It depends. Seasonal workers must look for work if more than 16 weeks will pass between lost hours and a return to full-time work. There are no exceptions to this rule in the state of Idaho.

If you don’t have a date for returning to work within 16 weeks of a layoff, you must seek other work. You can still return to your employer, but you must look for other work to get UI benefits.

Some seasonal workers find another job in the off-season for their regular work. For example, a U.S. Forest Service lookout might drive a school bus in the fall and winter months.

If you are told to look for work when you file your claim, your Work Seeking status isn’t job-attached. You must look for work to get benefits. Please call us with questions at (208) 332-8942.

Do I have to look for work if I belong to a union?

It depends. Your work search requirements may be waived if you are an active member of a union that regularly refers you to full-time work.

You will be asked about your union membership when you file your claim. Your information will decide your Work Seeking status.

What if the weekly certification requires work search actions, but I am job attached?

Never assume you are job attached. If you are unsure about your job-seeking requirements, call us at (208) 332-8942.

Where can I find work search action requirements?

You can find your work search requirements on your online application. When you apply, you must acknowledge that you understand these requirements. 

You can also find work search information starting on page 10 of the UI Claimant Guide. This pamphlet will be mailed to you after you apply for benefits. 

What is a valid work search action?

**You are now required to do five (5) work search actions (previously referred to as work search contacts) each week instead of two (2).**

There are many valid ways to look for work. The most common work search activity is applying with a resume or cover letter. Valid and invalid activities include:

Valid actions

  • Completing and submitting a job application to an employer. Applying is a valid action if the employer is accepting applications. If the company says they aren’t hiring but would accept an application, you must apply for this to be a valid action.
  • Submitting a resume to an employer. Submitting a resume, cover letter or letter of interest to an employer or job board would be a valid action.
  • Attending and completing an interview with an employer. Interviewing for a job is a valid action. The application could count as one action and the interview could count as the second action for the same week.
  • Completing a job search assessment. This includes but is not limited to a personality, skills or interests assessment.
  • Completing a job search plan or job search counseling. Meeting with a career counselor or with a workforce consultant at your local Idaho Labor office are valid actions.
  • Marketing yourself to employers. For example, completing a resume, cover letter, master application, elevator pitch, LinkedIn profile or uploading a completed resume to a job board for employers to see are valid actions.
  • Completing an online or in-person mock interview.  More information on conducting mock interviews online or in-person is available at your local Idaho Labor office.
  • Taking a civil service exam. Taking an exam for a civil service position is a valid action.
  • Completing a test with an employer. Many jobs require a skills test, background check or drug test. You can report these tasks as a work search action.
  • Completing an online or in-person job search workshop. Attending a job search workshop online or in your community is a valid action. Check the department’s calendar for workshops near you.
  • Attending a job fair.  This includes going to a job fair, virtual job fair, networking opportunity event or employer-sponsored workshop. Check the department’s calendar for workshops near you.
  • Using Idaho Department of Labor job seeker services. This includes employment preparation classes, job search workshops, mock interviews and more. Check the department’s calendar for job seeker events near you.

Invalid actions

  • Simply asking a business if they are hiring.  Calling or visiting a business to ask if they are hiring is not enough to qualify as a work search action. If you find out the employer is hiring and follow up by submitting a resume or application, this would be a work search action.
  • Researching without applying.  Looking through job listings without applying is not valid. If you can’t find any jobs, you must expand your search. Send an application or resume for an open position for your search to be valid.
  • Following up with a past contact.  Checking in with an employer about a job opening repeatedly or without being asked is not a valid action.
  • Following up with a staffing agency.  Staffing agencies are treated like other employers. Applying with an agency is a valid action. Following up with one is not.
  • Contacting your part-time employer. Your part-time employer is not a valid action. You must complete five (5) work search actions each week even if you are working part-time.
  • Asking for more information about a job posting. Emailing a question about a job found on Craigslist or a similar job board is not a valid action. This is the same as researching without applying. To make the action valid, you must apply.
  • Getting a job referral. You may get job referrals from the department or staffing agencies. These are not valid actions unless you follow up on the referral.
  • Pursuing self-employment work. Contractor or “gig” work does not count as a valid work search action. This includes work with companies such as Uber or Lyft.
  • Contacting friends or relatives without hiring power. Sending resumes or applications to people you know is not a valid action unless they have the authority to hire you.

Is there anything else I have to do?

Yes. You must register for work at idahoworks.gov or with the Department of Labor in the state where you reside.

You may also be required to speak with a workforce consultant. This interview is meant to help you get back to work as soon as possible. The consultant can help you improve your resume and look for work.

If you don’t complete a required interview, your benefits will stop.

Make your actions count:

Please call or visit your nearest local office for work search help. We offer many free services, including workshops on specific work search topics. 

Unemployment references:

We have tools to help you understand unemployment. For more information on your rights and responsibilities, visit the Unemployment Benefits page. 

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