Department of Labor & Industry to Hold Off Until July to Reinstate UC Work Search Requirement

Starting on July 11, the state Department of Labor & Industry will no longer waive the work search requirement for individuals receiving unemployment compensation benefits.  Additionally, the Department has proposed waiting until September to reinstitute the requirement that UC beneficiaries register with CareerLink. These requirements were waived in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic when the state saw a surge in unemployment claimants resulting from the business shutdown orders that were part of the Wolf administration’s initial mitigation efforts.

Despite the easing of mitigation restrictions for businesses over the past several months, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate, which currently is 7.4 percent, remains higher than the national average.  Employers across the Commonwealth continue to report difficulties filling open positions.

Last week, a PA Chamber led coalition consisting of local chambers from across the state sent a letter to the General Assembly advocating for companion House and Senate bills – H.B. 406 and S.B. 689 – that would  reinstate the work search and CareerLink requirements on a more expedited timeframe.

“Businesses that barely survived the pandemic are ready to reopen, rehire and begin contributing to their communities, yet are unable to find the workforce to operate and participate in the economic recovery,” the letter states. “To be sure, workforce struggles existed prior to the pandemic and no single policy will solve this complicated challenge.  However, reinstituting the UC work search requirement, as most states have taken action to achieve, is an important part of a broader strategy and ought to be broadly supported as it was in 2011.”

House Bill 406 passed the House last week with a bipartisan vote of 130-71 and S.B. 689 passed the Senate Labor and Industry Committee by an eight to three vote, with Senate Lindsey Williams (D-Allegheny) joining committee Republicans in supporting the bill.


Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.