Unemployment ‘work search’ requirement causes concern for businesses hiring


EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — These days you’ll see hiring signs all around town, almost everybody is hiring. With the new work search requirement, some businesses are worried it will lead to more ‘ghost applicants.’

Starting May 30th Michigan is reinstating work search requirements for those receiving unemployment.

What considered ‘work search’? It includes submitting an application, doing an interview, or going to a job fair. It does not mean accepting the position which is causing concern.

Laurence Christensen, general manager at Lou and Harry’s restaurant in East Lansing says for the past 9 months they’ve been searching for more employees. Although they usually get students from Michigan State University, there may be an increase in ‘ghost applicants’ because of this requirement.

Christensen says people come in to submit applications but never come back or follow up.

“With the unemployment insurance you can come in and you can take an application but are you going to come back and drop that application off or if you get a call to say hey come in and work we want to try you out, are you actually going to show up?,” said Christensen.

The ‘work search’ requirement will not apply to those who are self-employed, unable to work due to COVID-19, and parents with kids doing online learning.

Wendy Block from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce says it’s still a good way to connect.

“With work search registration requirements, it requires someone to link up with our Michigan works offices across the state and that allows those Michigan work offices to connect them with employers that are looking and also allows our Michigan works offices to connect people with additional opportunities,” she said.

Work search requirements were dropped in 2020 due to the pandemic when unemployment was at it’s highest. Despite unemployment dropping by .6% since January, the need for workers is still there.

“Employers across our state are greatly hurting for the workers that they need,” said Block.

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