California Unemployment Job Search Requirements

California Unemployment Job Search Requirements

California unemployment benefits are provided to eligible individuals who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. However, to continue receiving unemployment assistance, each claimant must meet certain requirements, including actively searching for work.

The work search requirement for unemployment benefits in California mandates that claimants make a good faith effort to seek employment during each week they certify for benefits. This means that claimants must apply for jobs, attend job interviews, and take other actions that demonstrate their commitment to finding employment. Failure to meet this requirement can result in a denial or reduction of UI benefits.

Claimants must document their job search activities and provide this information to the Employment Development Department (EDD) upon request. The EDD may also require claimants to participate in reemployment services, such as job training programs or career counseling, to help them improve their job search skills and find employment more quickly.

California Unemployment Work Search Requirements

Once your CA unemployment application is approved, the EDD will send you a notice explaining your specific work search requirements. You are obligated to actively search for suitable employment that aligns with your skills, experience, and usual occupation.

Unlike most states, California does not specify exactly how many work searches you must make per week, only that you must be able to prove you performed an approved work search activity.

Approved work search activities for California unemployment

To ensure compliance with the work search requirement, it is recommended that you engage in the following job search activities:

  • Create an account and upload your resume on CalJOBS.
  • Participate in employment services offered by America’s Job Center of California
  • Inform friends, previous employers, or community members that you are seeking employment
  • Connect with people on job networking websites and explore job openings
  • Attend networking events related to suitable work
  • Submit applications to employers that may reasonably have job openings
  • Apply or take exams for openings in civil service
  • Respond to job openings or “want ads”
  • Build a profile on various job-search websites
  • Register with your union hiring or placement facility and fulfill all union requirements related to job placement
  • Watch videos on job-search topics such as cover letter writing and interview skills
  • Take employment training courses that help you gain employment and don’t hinder you from accepting full-time work, such as federally and state-funded training, computer literacy courses, English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, or courses offering certificates of completion.

Be sure to document each job contact so you can prove that you searched for work. Always be honest in your documentation to avoid problems with unemployment fraud.

Work Search Exclusions

It is not necessary to search for work if any of the following circumstances apply to you:

  • Having a definite job offer within a reasonable time
  • Participating in an employer-sponsored Work Sharing program
  • Being on temporary layoff due to inclement weather or other reasons and returning to work within 30 days
  • Participating in state-approved training, including the California Training Benefits program
  • Possessing a specialized skill with limited job prospects and having exhausted potential job sources
  • Being unemployed due to a seasonal shutdown in your industry with limited chances of finding other work

If you are unable to secure childcare and have exhausted all reasonable options for finding it, you may not be required to search for work. However, to receive unemployment benefits, you must still be available and able to accept a job offer if one is presented to you. The EDD will decide if an exemption applies to you based on the information you provide when certifying for benefits every week.

You will be contacted if further information is necessary to evaluate your eligibility for benefits.

Register with CalJobs

In California, registering at CalJobs is a requirement to receive unemployment benefits. CalJobs is an online job search and matching system operated by the state of California.

You must create an account on the CalJobs website and submit a resume before you can receive UI benefits. You have 21 days to register after receiving your approval notice. Failure to register with CalJobs can result in a denial or delay of your unemployment benefit.

How to create an account on CalJOBs

  1. Log in to CalJOBS
  2. Under the sign in boxes, click “Not Registered Yet”
  3. Choose “Option 2 – Create a User Account” and choose “Individual”
  4. Review the entire privacy statement and choose “I Agree”
  5. Complete all the requested information and follow any special instructions

CalJOBS is a valuable tool for job seekers in California, providing various features to support the job search process. One of the benefits of using CalJOBS is the ability to create multiple versions of a resume tailored to specific job openings. This can improve the chances of being noticed by potential employers.

Job seekers can set up alerts for job openings and apply for them directly through the platform. CalJOBS also offers resources for career development, including education and training programs, workshops, and job fairs.

You can also access job-market trends and data to stay informed and make informed decisions during your job search. Overall, CalJOBS is a comprehensive resource that can help job seekers navigate the job market more effectively.

RESEA Program

You may receive a notification from the EDD regarding a Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) appointment. This appointment is intended to support you in your efforts to re-enter the workforce.

Participation in the RESEA program can help ensure that you meet all eligibility requirements for unemployment compensation and provide access to America’s Job Center of California. These job centers offer work search assistance, career counseling, and training opportunities.

If you are selected to participate in the program, it is mandatory to attend the scheduled appointment and complete all services provided by the program.

During your Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) appointment, you will have the opportunity to discuss your work search efforts and receive information about appropriate employment services that may be available to you. The appointment will also provide you with labor market information specific to your job search and occupation, as well as information about available resources and tools that you can use in your work search. You can also learn about reemployment and retraining services that may be available to you.

You must also attend at least one additional mandatory reemployment service appointment to assist with your reemployment needs. This additional appointment may be scheduled for a later date. It is important to attend this additional appointment as failure to do so may affect your eligibility to receive California unemployment insurance benefits.

Job search tips

To prepare for job searches, there are several steps you can take. Firstly, create an account on CalJOBS, which can help you find job openings and access reemployment services. Additionally, consider posting your profile on various job search or networking websites to increase your visibility to potential employers.

Expanding your networks is also important. Let your friends, former employers, and community members know that you’re looking for work, and participate in networking events, job fairs, or clubs to meet new people and learn about job opportunities.

When applying for jobs, focus on positions that match your skills and experience, and consider government jobs and exams as well. Don’t be afraid to cast a wide net and apply to multiple jobs to increase your chances of success.

Participating in permissible education and training opportunities can also be helpful. Look for courses or programs that can improve your job prospects without interfering with your ability to accept full-time work. By taking these steps, you’ll be better prepared to find and land your next job.

California Unemployment Job Training

The California Training Benefits (CTB) program enables claimants to receive unemployment benefits while attending school or training. To be eligible for CTB, you must maintain a current and valid unemployment benefits claim and continue to certify for California unemployment benefits if approved for the program. While attending school or training, you are not obligated to be available for work, seek work, or accept suitable work.

To participate in the California Training Benefit program, you can contact the program online, by phone, or in person at an America’s Job Center of California (AJCC). If you reach out to the program before receiving 16 weeks of benefit payments, you might be qualified for a training extension that grants additional weeks of benefits.

You must select a qualifying training program and report the start date of your training program during the week you begin. Once you have reported the start of your training, you may receive additional forms to fill out and send back to the Employment Development Department (EDD). If you are eligible for training benefits, you will receive a Notice of Determination with your eligibility results and approved training dates.

If you are not eligible, you must continue to meet all eligibility requirements to receive California unemployment benefits, even if you attend school or training. This includes being available for work, seeking work, and accepting suitable work.

Training Extension

If you get approval for California Training Benefits (CTB), you may be able to get additional weeks of benefits while you finish your school or training through a training extension. However, only one extension is allowed for each CTB-approved training period. You must contact the program before your sixteenth week of benefit payments to be eligible for an extension.

To qualify for a Training Extension, you must have an active unemployment claim and meet all eligibility requirements to receive unemployment benefits. You should start training before your current claim expires and be approved for one of the training categories under CTB. If the maximum award of your claim is fewer than 16 weeks of benefit payments, you must contact the program before your claim reaches a balance of

Eligible Training Programs for California Training Benefits

The following training programs are approved for California Training Benefits:

Trade Adjustment Assistance

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) helps workers who have lost or may lose their jobs because of foreign trade. To be eligible for TAA, workers must have been laid off due to trade-related circumstances on or after the impact date but before the certification termination date.

Eligible workers can receive TRA during periods of unemployment while attending TAA-approved training. They can also receive a full range of employment, training, and case management services to help them regain employment. Within a worker’s benefit period, they may receive up to 26 weeks of regular unemployment insurance benefits, 26 weeks of Basic TRA benefits, and up to 65 weeks of Additional TRA while attending training. Workers may also qualify for an additional 13 weeks of Completion TRA if they meet certain criteria and benchmarks while in training.

America’s Job Center of California

America’s Job Center locations provide workshops so you can enhance your job search skills, improve your resume, hone your interview skills, and access additional training resources. By applying for job openings, you can meet your work search requirements and remain eligible for unemployment benefits.

Employment Training Panel

The Employment Training Panel (ETP) provides funding to employers to improve the skills of their employees. Companies decide which workers need training and make their own plans for training them. They also get to choose who will be the trainers.

Businesses invest in the training resources by paying at least one dollar for every dollar that the state of California pays for training. Trainers only get paid if the person they trained gets a job and keeps it for at least 90 days. Training is customized to meet the needs of businesses and to provide good jobs for workers that pay well and require special skills.

The Employment Training Panel focuses on training people in industries that are important to California’s economy. Industries include biotechnology, agriculture, nursing and healthcare, construction, high technology services, multimedia, entertainment, goods movement, transportation logistics, and manufacturing.


The California Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) supports and oversees apprenticeship training and ensures quality on-the-job training and supplemental classroom instruction.

For contractors working on public works projects in California, compliance with apprenticeship regulations is mandatory. They must inform relevant apprenticeship committees upon winning a public works project, employ apprentices, and contribute to an approved apprenticeship committee or the California Apprenticeship Council’s training fund.

Some programs require a high school diploma or equivalent, while others have more rigorous standards or no educational requirements. Aptitude tests may also be required.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is a federal program that helps job seekers and workers get access to education, training, and other services to find and keep a job. The program also helps employers find skilled workers.

Resources are available to provide job search assistance, placement help, and access to labor market employment statistics, which can help you make informed decisions about a career path.

Additionally, education and training opportunities can help you upgrade your skills and qualifications, which can increase your chances of finding employment.

Self-Arranged Training

You may be able to arrange your own training and qualify for CTB if you meet certain legal requirements for self-arranged training.

These requirements include ensuring that the program will lead to employment or skills that are in demand in your local labor market. The training program should also be full-time, meaning it should take up at least 20 hours per week or 12 semester or quarter units. You must verify that the training provider is fully accredited by either the U.S. Department of Education or the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.

The program should be completed in a reasonable amount of time, typically no more than two years, and should be possible to complete even if the maximum amount of UI benefits available in the claim is not sufficient to cover the entire duration of the training program.

By meeting these requirements, you can potentially qualify for CTB and receive financial assistance to support your training and help you gain the skills you need to succeed in the job market.

  1. If my husband has PCS military orders, how soon can I resign from my position and receive unemployment benefits in order to pack-up home and prepare to leave the state? Obviously you don’t want to resign too early, but what is the window for resignation and spouse’s new report date to be able to file claim.

    • Andrea,

      As much as I am aware, there are no timelines on ‘how soon’. Perhaps, you can call the Unemployment Office in your state to clarify and proceed accordingly.

  2. I have recently started receiving benefits .
    Could daycare conflict affect my eligibility?
    I have a 20 month old and I have trouble finding someone to watch her.

    • Gina,

      That is correct. It will have an impact on your claim if the daycare hampers your prospects of applying for a full-time job. Please call the Claims Center for more help.

  3. If I am getting unemployment benefits in CA from a seasonal job, do I still have to look for work to continue receiving benefits during the winter?

    • Jack,

      I am not sure of a definite answer to your question. Please call the Unemployment Office for detailed instructions.

      • Ok thank you. I mean, it just seems a little unethical to me to collect unemployment money when I am fully capable of working a different job in the off season. My co-workers seem to like this approach, but it sounds unethical if not illegal. Just wondering if they found a loophole (excuse) not to work.

  4. I work full time and am about to go one maternity leave. I have a feeling that when I am ready to work again my employer is going to offer me a part time job.

    If I turn down the part time offer will I qualify for unemployment?

    • Kristi,

      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for more information.

  5. What is the minimum amount of employers one must report in order to receive weekly benefits in California?

  6. If I apply in California then relocate, am I still able to receive benefits while searching for a job in my new location?

  7. I am collecting UI benefits, was offered an out-of-state job starting 8/14 (about 7 weeks away). Am I eligible to collect UI benefits during this 7 week gap? If so, how do I report this event when I certify every other week?

    • You should be able to collect as long as you still remain “unemployed” without income.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further information.

  8. I am in school through CTB/WIOA. I have received my Notice Of Determination DE1080 CZ that a Training Extension can be filed. It goes on to explain how it’s calculated, etc. So it seems there is still one type of Extension.
    My UI just ran out, so I emailed EDD about how to file for the extension, and all they said “file on-line or call.” However, I can find nothing on the EDD site about how to file a TE claim, and I cannot get a live person to answer at the number they gave, 800-300-5616.

    Martin, are you saying there is no Training Extension??

    • Well, the EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired throughout the country. If you’ve been offered a specific extension depending on the availability of current program in your state, please try to visit the nearest Unemployment Office to inquire further.

  9. Hello,
    So i started receiving unemployment benefits a few weeks ago. Everytime i go to certify for my benefits it hasn’t required me to actually put down the places i have applied at. Why is that?

    • It can be a system glitch or you may be required to provide the information in a different section.

      Please call the Claims Center on the phone numbers to provided to find out.

  10. If i get into a job training program to improve my chance of finding a job, would I get payed even if my unemployment has ran out. Since extensions are no longer allowed?

    • There is no extension available for any reason.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  11. I had to return to Texas and am looking for work in my area. I have outdated I.T. skills I have had no success finding something here that will pay my bills. I was thinking about changing over to massage therapy as and I know there is a call for this in my area and the pay is sufficient. I know if you enter training you do not receive benefits because you cannot train and work at the same time. However once the training is over can you resume benefits until you find work with your new skills?

    • Each state has its own rules in this regard. Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state for specific advise.

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  12. I have never received weekly form and I do have a hearing date. Question is can you please start sending me the weekly form so I can fill out. Or can someone call me and explain to me. 530-409-3089

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