BOSTON/SPRINGFIELD (WWLP) – The Baker-Polito Administration announced Thursday work search requirements will return for those applying for unemployment after June 15.
Massachusetts temporarily suspended the work search requirement for residents applying for unemployment and receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) or those on Extended Benefits (EB) during the pandemic back in March 2020.
Restaurants can open at full capacity in just about a week, but many don’t have enough staff to accommodate that. So, they’re hoping people start applying soon.
Beginning the week on June 13 through June 19, those applying for unemployment must make sure they are making at least three work-search applications per week and provide proof of applying to the Department of Unemployment Assistance if necessary.
“I don’t think it’s healthy for people to stay at home and not do anything,” said Jim Icken of West Springfield.
Work search applications include:
- Filling out a job application in person or online for job openings
- Registering for work with a local Mass Hire Career Center
- Reviewing job listings on the internet, newspapers, or contacting professional associations
All sectors are in need of workers, but the restaurant industry has been hit especially hard. Lattitude Restaurant in West Springfield said they’re so short staffed – they still can’t open for lunch.
“We may be full capacity and six feet apart goes away we can still only seat so many people because we only have so many people working during a shift,” said Jeffrey Daigneau, chef and owner of Lattitude Restaurant.
Daigneau added that Lattitude is hiring all positions from hosts to waiters and cooks. People on unemployment are encouraged to contact their local MassHire Career Center, over 200,000 jobs are posted.
There are local offices in Springfield, Holyoke and Greenfield.
Most residents will be entitled to continue to receive partial or reduced unemployment benefits even as they do get employed and return to work, including keeping the full amount of the special COVID-related $300 weekly stipend offered through the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program.
When you report new wages for employment, the weekly unemployment benefit will be proportionately reduced to offset new wages. In most cases, claimants will remain eligible for the $300 weekly stipend until their wages exceed 133 percent of what they would make on unemployment.
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program is scheduled to end in the first week of September.
The state will lift all COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and fully reopen by May 29th. The state of emergency will also end on June 15th.
According to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, more than 200,000 jobs in Massachusetts are advertised in MassHire Career Center.