Unemployment Workforce Development
About Your State Job Search Services
A key component in any state’s unemployment system is workforce development. The mission is to provide an infrastructure that promotes healthy and robust job opportunities and related services to retrain and prepare displaced workers like you.
When you file for unemployment benefits you agree to actively seek work and be able to work. The first step is applying for work with your state’s Department of Workforce Development, usually a part of the Labor Department and closely aligned with your unemployment insurance benefits.
State workforce development centers not only provide employment and job services to the unemployed, but most also dedicate resources to other job seekers and under-employed workers.
Apply for Work with Your State Workforce Development
Since most state unemployment systems are electronic it’s much easier to manage the volume of unemployment claims as well as directly funnel you to the state job seekers resources. For example: the State of Indiana’s unemployment division is called the Department of Workforce Development. When you file an unemployment claim with the state you must adhere to those particular requirements, which states “each claimant must register for work within 4 weeks (unless ‘job attached’).”* Indiana’s state job site is called Indiana Career Connect.
While this is a specific example, many state workforce agencies function fairly similarly—
- You file for unemployment compensation benefits
- You register with the state workforce development or job service
- You apply for jobs that apply to you
NOTE: Be aware that every state has its own procedures for unemployment claims filing, including how and when you apply for job seeking services. You may live in a state that invites you to file online or by phone or you could be required to appear in person at a local unemployment or workforce center. Find out what your state requires—we maintain an A to Z list of state unemployment websites.
Your State Job Search Services and Resources
Many workers who’ve been suddenly laid-off or displaced from work, have no immediate plans for employment. Your lay-off could have totally blind-sided you, it came out of nowhere and you had no indication that you’d be separated from a job and regular income.
Good news is that your state workforce center specializes in helping you get back on your feet by providing you with resources and services to renovate your job and career goals. Here are some of the services your Workforce Development agency might offer you:
- Resume guidance
- Job interviewing tips and resources
- Current job postings in the state
- Online management of a job-search account
- Career retraining
- Special job services and resources for older workers, disabled workers, and veterans
Exceptions: When You are Not Required to Look for Work
In some cases you may not be required to actively seek work through your state workforce center. Common exceptions to the rule include workers who are temporarily laid-off or separated from a job, and union workers. Be sure to check with your unemployment counselor before you decide that the exceptions apply to you, and that you don’t have to look for work.
* source, Indiana DWD