New Mexico to require job searches for unemployment benefits


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — People who have claimed unemployment benefits in New Mexico during the coronavirus pandemic will soon be required to conduct weekly job searches, a requirement previously waived because of large-scale business closures resulting in a smaller job market.

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions announced Wednesday that it plans to reinstate the requirement on Oct. 25 barring any changes to the state health order from Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham or the state health department.

Claimants receiving regular unemployment benefits must now document at least two work search activities each week starting Oct. 18. Verifiable searches must be reported during the weekly certification process starting Oct. 25 and each week after.

The work search requirement also can be met by attending a workshop offered statewide by New Mexico Workforce Connection Online System, which offers access to current openings, job training and career services.

The U.S. Department of Labor said that there are about 82,000 people collecting regular unemployment benefits in the state.

Studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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