People receiving unemployment benefits in Maryland will soon have to document that they’re looking for a new job as the state joins others around the nation in reinstating work-search requirements.
The change will come next month as Maryland also cuts benefits to tens of thousands of unemployed residents covered by federal unemployment programs. The changes take effect the week of July 4.
Unemployment insurance traditionally requires recipients to show they’re looking for a job. That changed in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic hit. Maryland, like other states, suspended its work-search requirement last March as businesses shut down and record-breaking numbers of people lost their jobs.
Business groups around the country have been pushing to have the requirement reinstated, saying it will help them fill openings. In Maryland, they include trade groups representing industries such as the retail and hospitality sectors and small businesses.
“Finding employees as demand for hotels is increasing has been a huge challenge,” said Amy Rohrer, president and CEO of the Maryland Hotel Lodging Association.
Meanwhile, employers are concerned about the health of the state’s unemployment trust fund, which affects the taxes businesses pay, said Cailey Locklair, president of the Maryland Retailers Association.