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Alabama Unemployment Job Search Requirements

Alabama Unemployment

To continue receiving Alabama unemployment benefits, you must actively search for work and provide work search contact information with each weekly certification.

Alabama unemployment work search requirement

Each week, you are required to provide three (3) work search contacts – including the date of contact, employer name, city, state, method of contact, and contact results.

The date of contact must be during the week for which you are claiming benefits. Failure to provide the required information may result in a denial of benefits.

You can report your work search activities when you file your weekly certification.

Here are some approved work search activities:

  • Apply each week with employers who hire people with your experience, training, or skills. This should include former employers if you have reason to believe that there is a chance you may be rehired.
  • Contact employers during normal hiring hours, which are usually during the day and on weekdays.
  • Apply to the person who has the authority to hire you and fill out a job application whenever possible. Online applications are accepted.
  • Apply for work that you are qualified for and that is within a reasonable commuting distance from your home.
  • Visit the Alabama Works website or a local Alabama Career Center at least once a week while you are claiming unemployment benefits.

By following these guidelines and actively searching for work, you can increase your chances of finding suitable employment and being eligible for UI benefits. Interested in learning your weekly benefit amount? Try the Alabama unemployment calculator.

Alabama Career Center Registration

To be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits in Alabama, most claimants are required to register with the Alabama Career Center. Even if you are not required to register, the Alabama Career Center offers valuable resources for job referrals, resume building, and re-employment services.

Developing an effective work search plan is also crucial. The Alabama Career Center can help you learn about different types of jobs, their requirements and availability, and how to get training.

When applying for Alabama unemployment benefits, you must actively search for work each week. Failure to do so could result in benefits being denied until you can show that you have started looking for work.

You must also certify each week that you are available, willing, and able to accept suitable work. Factors that may limit your availability, such as attending school or childcare, should be reported on your weekly claim certifications or by contacting the claims office.

Is the work search required?

Yes, you are required to perform 3 work searches each week. These work search requirements were temporarily waived during the COVID pandemic. Extended benefits were available in the form of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. But these programs have all expired and the mandatory work search has resumed.

Alabama Unemployment Job Training

Job training programs for unemployed workers in Alabama are designed to equip individuals with the necessary skills to return to the workforce. These initiatives are supported by the Alabama Career Center System and various workforce development organizations. They play a crucial role in reducing unemployment rates and fostering economic growth in the state.

On-The-Job Training (OJT)

The Alabama Department of Commerce’s Workforce Development Division manages the On-The-Job Training (OJT) program, a valuable resource for individuals to learn new job skills and for employers to save on training costs.

Under the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act, employers participating in the OJT program receive reimbursement for a portion of the wages paid to trainees, compensating them for the additional time and attention required for training and the reduced productivity of the trainees. The maximum training period is negotiated with the employer, with a cap of 6 months.

Local career center staff collaborate with employers to create a training plan for trainees. The OJT program’s primary goals are to create a skilled workforce, increase productivity and profits for local employers, and ensure permanent employment upon successful completion of training.

Work-Based Learning (WBL)

Work-Based Learning (WBL) offers students unique educational opportunities that are difficult to replicate in traditional classroom settings. By connecting classroom learning with hands-on experience, the program enhances skills, improves efficiency, and creates a better-trained workforce.

Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT)

Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT) is an autonomous agency under the guidance of the Secretary of Commerce. Its primary mission is to promote economic development by providing job-specific training for new and expanding businesses throughout the state at no cost.

The AIDT recruits and develops a skilled workforce that will attract new industries and support the growth of existing ones. The program offers pre-employment and on-the-job training programs.

Beyond training, AIDT provides various services such as trainee recruitment and screening, safety assistance, and industrial maintenance assessments. Using Mobile Training Units, staff can travel directly to businesses to deliver classroom instruction and hands-on training to workers.

Short-term Employment Services (SEA program)

The Short-term Employment Assistance program helps former recipients of Family Assistance maintain their current employment or find new job opportunities.

Services provided by the SEA program include:

Job Clubs: Job clubs emphasize work retention skills, such as effective communication, punctuality, and understanding workplace expectations. Individuals can develop essential soft skills that contribute to their success as workers in Alabama.

Individualized Problem Resolution: The SEA program offers personalized assistance in resolving issues or challenges that may arise in the workplace, helping individuals overcome obstacles and maintain their employment, which contributes to a lower unemployment rate.

Community Resources: The program connects individuals with community resources that provide emergency aid, such as Alabama unemployment benefits, ensuring they have access to the support they need during times of crisis.

Referrals to Coaches and Mentors: By connecting individuals with experienced career coaches and mentors, the SEA program helps them gain valuable guidance and support for their ongoing career development, fostering a skilled workforce in Alabama.

Career Planning: The program offers assistance in identifying long-term career goals and creating actionable plans to achieve them, enabling individuals to make informed decisions about their professional growth and helping to fill job openings in high-demand fields.

Emergency Financial Aid: In certain cases, the SEA program can provide financial assistance for essential work-related expenses, such as car repairs, work attire or tools, and transportation costs. This support helps to alleviate some of the financial barriers that may hinder an individual’s ability to maintain employment or secure new job opportunities.

These services are available to eligible individuals within one year of their termination from FA benefits. By offering tailored support, the Short-term Employment Assistance Program helps former Family Assistance recipients transition successfully into the workforce, fostering economic opportunity and contributing to a thriving labor market in Alabama.

In summary, the SEA program provides valuable resources and services to former Family Assistance recipients, enabling them to remain employed or secure new employment. Through job clubs, individualized problem resolution, referrals to community resources, mentorship, career planning, and limited emergency financial aid, the program helps individuals develop the skills and support needed to achieve long-term career success. By doing so, the SEA program contributes to a stronger workforce, greater economic opportunity, and a more prosperous Alabama, helping to meet the needs of both job seekers and Alabama employers.

Adult Training Programs

Alabama Workforce Investment Area (AWIA) – Adult Services

Alabama Workforce Investment Area (AWIA) provides workforce development activities that increase the employment of participants and improve the quality of Alabama’s workforce. The program prioritizes eligible low-income individuals, welfare recipients, and certain veterans or veteran spouses.

The program offers a range of self-service and staff-assisted services for adults seeking employment, including comprehensive and specialized assessments of skill levels, aptitudes, abilities, and needs. AWIA also assists in the development of Individual Employment Plans, individual career counseling, and out-of-area job search assistance.

Intensive services, such as Individual Training Accounts, On-the-Job training, and job readiness training, are available for eligible adults who experience greater difficulty in securing employment. These services are often conducted with a commitment from an employer or a group of employers to hire the individual upon successful completion of training.

Individual Training Accounts

One of the primary means of delivering educational or occupational training services for Adults, Dislocated Workers, and Youth is through Individual Training Accounts (ITAs). ITA services may only be provided to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) participants by training providers who have applied and been placed on the Eligible Training Provider List.

Prospective education and/or occupational skills training providers must meet specific criteria to gain and retain training provider status. Postsecondary education institutions that offer instruction leading to generally recognized certification in high-demand occupational skills, and other institutions providing similar vocational instruction services, are among the entities that may apply for inclusion on the Eligible Training Provider List.

The standard limitation on the length of training for regular WIOA-funded ITAs is two years. The ITA service delivery model, based on the principle of customer choice, allows each participant to develop a career strategy and pursue training tailored to their individual interests and skills. The ITA model continues to be monitored, revised, and implemented with ongoing success.

The Alabama Workforce Investment Area (AWIA) maximizes the number of clients in training through the efficient use of local area funds. The AWIA Local Board imposes cost limitations on Individual Training Accounts.

The maximum amounts allowable for ITAs are as follows:

  • Short-term training of 13 weeks or less: up to $3,500
  • Training of 52 weeks or less: up to $6,500
  • Training of 17 months or less (greater than 12 months but less than 17): up to $8,000
  • Training of 17 to 24 months (greater than 17 months but no longer than 24): up to $12,000

By offering a comprehensive range of services and utilizing resources like the Alabama Career Center System, the AWIA Adult program supports adults in their pursuit of sustainable employment and career growth. This contributes to a more skilled workforce, greater economic opportunity, and a thriving labor market in Alabama, helping to meet the needs of both job seekers and Alabama employers.

Apprenticeship Alabama

Apprenticeship Alabama focuses on 5 industry sectors targeted in the state’s strategic plan for growth:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Advanced Manufacturing/Industrial Maintenance
  3. Information Technology
  4. Construction/Carpentry
  5. Distribution/Transportation/Logistics

Apprenticeship Alabama offers tax credits to businesses that create apprenticeship programs. It is a valuable resource for employers seeking to hire, train, or retain a skilled workforce and for workers pursuing new careers in well-paying occupations.

What are apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships provide a blend of work-based learning, on-the-job training programs, and classroom instruction. These programs offer participants the chance to earn money while learning in a non-traditional setting, showcasing the direct relationship between increasing skills and increasing wages.

In Alabama, apprenticeships are considered one of the most effective ways to enhance labor force participation, promote attainment goals, and ensure that residents are on career pathways leading to economic mobility and self-sufficiency.

The variety of growing apprenticeships available in Alabama covers a wide range of occupations and industries, including healthcare, construction, information technology, transportation, hospitality and tourism, advanced manufacturing, and industrial systems maintenance. New apprenticeship models are constantly being developed to meet the diverse needs of the workforce.

Apprentices receive a quality education through hands-on training, which results in improved skills and competencies, as well as the potential to earn college credit towards an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. From their first day of work, apprentices earn a paycheck that is guaranteed to increase as their training progresses.

Upon graduation from a career training program, apprentices earn a certified portable credential that is accepted by industries and employers across the United States. With a competitive salary and little or no educational debt, workers who complete an apprenticeship are on their way to a successful long-term career.

To begin exploring apprenticeship opportunities, your first stop should be an Alabama Career Center, where staff can assist you in finding jobs, training, apprenticeship programs, and much more.


The Alabama Southern Community College’s Project REACH OUT is an innovative and comprehensive program designed to serve out-of-school youth in rural southwest Alabama. With a focus on enhancing educational attainment, preparing participants for success in employment, and fostering personal growth, this program aims to support the development of young adults in the region.

Project REACH OUT offers a tailored approach to education and skill-building. On average, participants engage with the program for 20-25 hours per week, immersing themselves in a variety of activities designed to foster growth and learning.

Weekly interactions within the program include time spent in class (Adult Education, certificate classes, or postsecondary degree programs), one-on-one meetings with case managers, and participation in workshops and presentations. The program offers paid or unpaid work experiences, tutoring when necessary, and designated study hours for those enrolled in academic classes.

By offering tailored services and resources to out-of-school youth, the program helps individuals build essential skills and access employment opportunities, which strengthens the economy in Alabama.

  1. Why can I not file my weekly certificate online? I find links to take me there but once I am on my portal there is no option to file online.

    • Hi, Lisa – if you’re unable to file your claim using the site, you can also reach someone by telephone for help: Montgomery local area 334-954-4094; Birmingham local area 205-458-2282; or other areas 800-752-7389. You also can call 800-361-4524 after 5pm Sunday through Thursday to schedule a callback for the next day.

  2. I registered for the Alabama Training Program last month and received ( 1 ) $275.00 payment, then it just “stopped” Claimant ID: 1380699 Claim ID: 25511708089501 I need to find out if I’m actually registered or did something happen and I’m not really registered ? Is there a way for someone to find out what’s gong on? Thank you

    • Dear Lynda G. Turner,
      I assume you’ve already called the Alabama Unemployment Office? Was the money coming to you via automatic payment? It sounds like the office stopped payment in error but you should check with your bank as well. If you’ve already done that, please call the Alabama Office as you may not be the only one affected.


    • I am guessing you should continue filing weekly job searches. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  3. Hi I’m Laquanna Stgeorge I received a letter in the mail about five weeks training can you please help me enroll

  4. I am confused what to do after I have signed up for training class with Alabama unemployment. Do I need to go in person? Is there a way I can do this online?

  5. I have been filing over and over trying to get my unemployment but now it says an issue has disqaulified me how do I find out what they are talking about this is getting insanely disconcerting I been without money for many weeks nowand been kicked out of three houses

  6. I am trying get threw to the number they say call but 5 weeks never can get threw to anyone are not one representative to see why my payment benefits not been deposit to my new checking which they updated already and pending issue that show on my claim status that say blocked bank account which hasn’t been remove from a representative yet threw the inquiry claim center I have call I have email I have got on the chat line but still shows the pending issue on my claim status that stopping my benfits from being deposit in my new checking account that’s been updated weeks ago steady getting the run around and put threw loops after loops everyday time after time please how I get them to remove the pending issue that needs to be remove off my claim so my benefits and payments for my weekly claim will be deposit

  7. If my employer lays me off due to a company down and gives me a day to return to work when they anticipate shutdown to end, do I have to meet the job search requirements for Al unemployment? Since I have a job to go back to?

  8. Why did my extended benefits stop. I only recieved 4 weeks without any notice. Since i have just read that it didnt run out of money i should be still getting them

    • Laura,

      If the benefits are available to you, you will be able to access them after you login. Please visit the website to check.

  9. While on unemployment, are you obligated to accept a job offer that pays extremely less an hour than your rate when laid off?

    • Kellie,

      You will be required to accept suitable employment offers. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  10. I have been doing internet weekly certification. This week I get a message that I am locked out of the weekly certification what do I need to do .

  11. I have two weekly certificates in and at first the first one showed “waiting week”. However since I filed my second one it says “not paid” does this mean I have been denied?

    • Rick,

      If you chose an incorrect option, the claim status may change accordingly. Please speak to a member of the Claims Center by calling the office.

  12. I have been job searching and I’ve been doing all the things required… why do my statues says not paid… I’ve called and called

    • Please note we’re a private forum and do not have access to your claim file. If you have difficulties reaching the agency over the phone, please explore the option of visiting an office in the vicinity.

  13. Why were my unemployment benefits cancelled because I started an AIDT course?? It’s unpaid and doesn’t guarantee a job, and everything I’ve read says it won’t have effects on my benefits..but they were cancelled immediately and it is impossible to get any on the phone to answer me

    • If you school full time, you may cease to be eligible from drawing Unemployment Benefits.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for the exact reason.

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