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Arkansas Unemployment Job Search Requirements

Arkansas Unemployment

As part of the DWS guidelines, claimants must fulfill certain criteria to continue receiving Arkansas unemployment insurance benefits.

To remain eligible for Arkansas unemployment compensation, you must be:

  • Able to work
  • Available for work
  • Actively seeking work

Work Search Requirements

The work search requirement is an important part of the weekly claim process for certifying your unemployment benefits. To meet this requirement, you must show that you are looking for work.

In Arkansas, you are required to make at least one (1) job contact each week. However, you may be asked to make multiple job contacts each week, depending on your situation. You may also be asked to provide documentation of your job contact while filing your weekly claim.

It won’t count if you apply to the same employer over and over, unless it’s reasonable to believe the repeat contact could lead to a job offer, or if the employer has requested you return at a later date.

Register with DWS Job Service

If you’re not registered with DWS Job Service, be sure to register when advised to do so by the local office staff, and visit a local Arkansas Workforce Center when instructed. Contacts made through the DWS can be counted as work search contacts.

Job contacts made through a private employment agency can also be counted, with some guidelines. For example, registration with a private employment agency counts as one job contact for each agency, but only once during a continuous period of unemployment.

Job Contacts Log

It’s important to keep track of your work search activities each week. Use the Job Contacts Log to write down all the job contacts you make.

Every week, remember to include the following details:

  • The date you contacted each employer
  • The employer’s name and address
  • How you contacted them
  • Name of the person you spoke with
  • Type of job you’re looking for
  • What happened after the contact
  • If you have an application or resume on file

If you don’t record all this information, your benefits might be delayed or denied. If your claim is denied, you do have the right to file an appeal.

Make sure the information you write about your job contacts is correct and complete to avoid any problems with Arkansas unemployment fraud.

Once DWS gives you written notice, you must start writing down your weekly job contacts in the Job Contacts Log.

Work Search Exemptions

In some cases, claimants for Arkansas UI benefits are exempt from the Job Search requirements. Unless you are exempt, you will need to make weekly job contacts. You won’t have to keep a written list of your job contacts until DWS advises you to do so in writing.

You might be exempt from making weekly job contacts under these conditions:

  • If your last employer reduced your work hours from full-time to part-time, you might not need to make job contacts during weeks when you work at least eight hours for that employer.
  • If an employer promises you a full-time job that will start within 10 weeks from the date it was promised, you will be exempt from the work search requirements for that period. However, you need to provide a written statement from the employer confirming the job offer and start date.
  • If you have been laid off but you will return to full-time work within 10 weeks from the date you were laid off or your hours were reduced, you might not need to make weekly job contacts during that time.

Job Search Workshops

Federal law requires the Division of Workforce Services to offer additional job search assistance to some individuals receiving unemployment benefits. This support is provided through a Job Search Workshop, which helps improve your skills in arranging job interviews, completing applications, and more. The workshop and materials are free, and completing the workshop will count as a work search activity for that week.

If you are chosen to attend a Job Search Workshop, you will receive a “Letter to Report for a Workshop” that provides the date, time, and location of the workshop. If you are scheduled for the workshop and either refuse or fail to attend or complete the workshop without a valid reason, your unemployment benefit for that week will be denied.

Do I have to accept any job offer?

If you’re required to look for work, you need to be open to accepting suitable work when it’s offered to you. The definition of suitable work can depend on various factors, such as the pay offered by the new job, how long you’ve been unemployed, and the salary from your previous job. The law doesn’t state that the pay must be identical to your last employment.

If you’re unemployed for a long time and can’t find a job in your usual or backup field, you might need to look for other types of work that you can do and where there are job openings. You might also need to contact more employers.

Arkansas Job Training Programs


The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides employment, education, training, and support services to job seekers in Arkansas.

WIOA programs offer employment and training services for adults, dislocated workers, and youth. It also includes employment services administered by the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, adult education and literacy programs, and Vocational Rehabilitation state grant programs that assist individuals with disabilities.

WIOA Adult Program

The WIOA adult program prioritizes public assistance recipients, low-income individuals, and those with basic skills deficiencies. Veterans also receive priority of service in all DOL-funded employment programs.

Arkansas provides a range of career services for adults, including job search assistance, training opportunities, career pathways, customized training, and business services. Eligible individuals can access these services through an American Job Center, Arkansas JobLink, or by contacting the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services.

Arkansas unemployment benefits are also available, along with vocational rehabilitation services through the ADWS and the Arkansas Rehabilitation Service.

WIOA Dislocated Worker Program

Arkansas’ Dislocated Worker program is designed to help you get back to work as soon as possible and overcome any obstacles to employment. This program provides services to assist individuals who become dislocated workers due to job loss, mass layoffs, global trade dynamics, or transitions in economic sectors.

Rapid Response Program

One valuable service offered under the Dislocated Worker program is called Rapid Response. This is a proactive and business-focused strategy designed to respond to layoffs and plant closings by coordinating services and providing immediate aid to affected workers and companies.

Rapid Response teams work with employers and employee representatives to quickly maximize resources and minimize disruptions associated with job loss. These teams can provide customized services on-site, accommodate any work schedules, and assist companies and workers through the transitions associated with job loss. The Dislocated Worker program can help you overcome personal barriers to employment and get you back to work as soon as possible.

Trade Adjustment Assistance Program

The TAA Program helps eligible workers to obtain the skills, resources, credentials, and support needed to rebuild their skills for future employment. Any member of a certified worker group may be eligible to receive various benefits and services at their local American Job Center. Services include training, employment, and case management services, job search allowances, relocation allowances, and income support in the form of Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA).

The TAA Program provides two other benefits, the Reemployment TAA (RTAA) and Alternative TAA (ATAA). These programs offer wage supplements for older workers who are reemployed in a job that pays less than their previous trade-affected employment. The RTAA and ATAA support older workers in finding new employment and supplement their wages if their reemployment results in lower pay.

Vocational Training

The Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) provides vocational training programs through the Arkansas Career Development Center to help individuals with disabilities acquire the skills they need to secure employment. Programs offer a range of training options and services that cater to the unique needs of each individual.

The ARS works with businesses to provide employees where they are needed most. By completing one of the vocational training programs offered by the Arkansas Career Development Center, individuals can find enjoyable work and benefit from career advancement opportunities.

Available industries include Construction, Nursing, Culinary Arts, and Welding.


Arkansas offers a variety of apprenticeships for workers looking for hands-on training and experience in a specific trade or industry. Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction, providing individuals with the skills they need to succeed in their chosen career path. Apprenticeships are typically sponsored by employers or trade associations, and can last anywhere from one to six years.

The Arkansas Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee oversees and promotes the use of apprenticeships in the state. Apprenticeships are available in a range of industries, including construction, healthcare, manufacturing, and transportation.

Participants can earn a wage while they learn, making apprenticeships a viable option for those who want to gain work experience without accumulating student debt.

Search for Arkansas apprenticeships.

Veterans Services

Arkansas Workforce Centers offer priority of service to veterans and eligible spouses, meaning they can take precedence over non-covered persons in obtaining employment, training, and placement services.

Veterans can receive assistance with creating and updating their resume, creating an Arkansas JobLink account, assessing their skills and interests, and job searching. Veterans can also connect with employers, get help transitioning to civilian life, register for benefits, and receive information about additional resources for veterans.

Assistance is provided through Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG), Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) Specialists, and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs).

  1. I just received an official warning for not adhering to job search requirements even though I entered information very clearly that I was attending my Father’s funeral out of state. Why would I receive an official warning for this?

  2. I am trying to find out if I happen to qualify for Unemployment. In the middle of November of 2017, I lost my last job due to the department I was working in was closed, and due to issues with scheduling with school, they were not able to provide another job that worked. I was working 40 hours per week at the time. I am now working a part time job (about 17 hours a week), which I started right around Christmas time. I was wondering, is there a possibility that I could receive any Unemployment benefits for the time I have not received any pay?

    • Shayne,

      If your employment was meant to be a full-time one always and they cut your hours, please consider applying for partial UI benefits for the lost hours.

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