State Legislature Reinstates Work-Search Requirement for Unemployed Starting Sunday

The Legislature’s GOP-led rules committee voted Wednesday to eliminate the state’s emergency rule waiving work search requirements in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

The work search waiver first went into effect in March 2020 and was set to expire in July. Starting Sunday, unemployed people will again have to perform four work-search activities each week in order to obtain benefits.

“We need every able-bodied person to re-enter Wisconsin’s workforce to rebuild our economy,” committee co-chairman Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, said in a statement following the vote, which was opposed by the committee’s Democratic members.

Committee member Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, said the vote to reinstate work search requirements “is yet another example of Republicans abusing the rule-making process to make policy detrimental to their own constituents, and reveals what many who have been paying close attention have long known — Wisconsin Republicans want to make it as hard as possible for unemployed Wisconsinites to receive benefits.”