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Florida Unemployment Job Search Requirements

What Is the Florida Unemployment Work Search Requirement?

Florida residents who are claiming Reemployment Assistance Benefits in Florida must engage in a weekly work search while they are collecting payments. This includes claimants who are furloughed, disabled, pregnant, and self-employed.

In some states, benefit recipients are required to report job search details only if requested. But the rules for collecting unemployment are a little more strict in Florida. That’s because Florida requires benefit recipients to report detailed information about their work search each time they file their bi-weekly claim.

The work search requirement involves applying for 5 jobs every week, and 3 per week if you live in a small county with a population of less than 75,000 residents (with fewer people, there are fewer job opportunities).

Remember that filing for unemployment in Florida is a biweekly process, so you will actually be reporting 6 to 10 job applications per claim, and not just 3 to 5. If you want to know what that biweekly filing will translate to in terms of a weekly benefit payment, see the Florida unemployment calculator.

Approved Florida work search activities include submitting online job applications, mail in applications, applying in person, attending a job interview, or visiting a local CareerSource Center. Anyone who registered to collect unemployment assistance after May 29th, 2021, must also do a work registration on EmployFlorida.com.

Florida Unemployment Work Registration Requirement

EmployFlorida can help you browse the job market, research new careers, and qualifications, and see how much those jobs pay. Uploading your resume also allows potential employers to see you and your resume in the pool of potential talent. Once you register, you’ll get a personalized folder with saved searches and career assessment tools that can match your skills and qualifications to specific opportunities. You can create customized resumes and cover letters as well.

All you need to get started is a valid email address, your Social Security number, and an ID like a driver’s license, state ID, or voter registration. You will also need to input some information like the names and contact info of all your employers during the last 18 months, as well as the dates you worked and your total earnings at each workplace.

Registering with EmployFlorida is not optional, as it is in some states and their respective job sites. In Florida, you will need to register on EmployFlorida in order to access the CONNECT system and apply for Florida unemployment benefits.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must also look for suitable work to get your weekly unemployment compensation payments. And you will need to provide some personal information to get registered in the talent pool of job seekers that is EmployFlorida. Florida law requests your alien registration number and work permit expiration date.

If you are a job seeker who served in the military within the past two years, you will need Form DD-214 to sign up and collect unemployment insurance.

If you are a government employee who has been fired or laid off, in order to get the weekly pay of your unemployment insurance benefits, you will need to submit Form SF-50 or form SF-8 and proof of earnings, which you can show with check stubs or a W-2.

Florida Work Search Exemptions

There are some exceptions to the Florida work search requirements to seek out a new job contact. If you are a member of a union in good standing and maintain daily contact with your union, you are exempt.

If you live in a county with less than 75,000 people, you only need to apply for 3 jobs per week instead of 5.

You are exempt from the work search requirements if you were furloughed or released on a temporary layoff with a promise of a return to work in 8 weeks, or if you have already secured new employment and will start within 6 weeks.

The same is true if you are enrolled in a vocational rehabilitation or training program approved by your local CareerSource Florida Center. If you have jury duty for the majority of a given week, you do not have to conduct a work search. Call 1-833-352-7759 and speak to someone if you are still being requested to show proof of a job search for benefits.

What Is a Valid Work Search?

Here are some examples of a valid work search:

  • Submitting an application or a resume to a potential employer
  • Applying through the EmployFlorida website
  • Attending a job fair
  • Applying in person or interviewing
  • Participating in a career service session at a local CareerSource Florida Center
  • Creating a personal profile on a networking site like Indeed or LinkedIn
    Attending a training
  • Attending a resume writing seminar

These are just a few of the activities that can count toward your work search requirements.

Please note: Claimants in search of their next economic opportunity cannot meet the requirements for collecting Florida Reemployment Assistance by repeatedly applying for the same job.

Information Required for the Florida Work Search

You will need to report details of your work search when you try to collect benefits on CONNECT. You will need to provide the dates you contact the potential employer, submitted your application, or conducted the approved work search activity.

You will also be asked to elaborate on your method of contact. For instance, if you applied in person, you will need to provide the business name, address, and phone number. Or, if you applied online, the business website address. If you applied via email, you will need to send a copy of that email.

You will need to specify what type of work you are seeking and summarize the outcome of the job search activity. When you are on the CONNECT system for your biweekly visit, you will eventually be guided to a page requesting details for your work search. You cannot move forward in the process of collecting benefits until this information is completed.

Refusing a Job Offer

You are not required to take any job that comes your way, but there are certain circumstances in which you will be required to take a job or forfeit your Florida unemployment.

Jobs that require a material change in occupation for the claimant are not required to be taken. For example, if your previous work experience was as a bank teller, you do not need to take a construction job (and vice versa). However, if you find work that reasonably falls within your skill sets within the first 60 days you collect benefits, if the job pays at least 90% of your previous salary from your base period, you must take it.

After you’ve collected 25 weeks of unemployment, any suitable job that pays minimum wage ($11 in Florida) and is 120% or more of your weekly benefit amount, is a job that you must take. However, you will never be required to take any job that comprises your health or your morality.

Florida Unemployment Job Training

A statewide  network of local One-Stop Career Centers offers job training and employment services to link Florida’s job seekers and employers. These career centers offer:

Priority Reemployment Planning Program

The Priority Reemployment Planning (PREP) program provides reemployment services to RA claimants who are profiled as unlikely to return to their previous jobs or occupations and are given assistance early in their claims series.

  • Job search for counseling
  • Testing and assessment
  • Occupational and labor market information
  • Job search workshops
  • Referral to potential employers
  • Job Training Assistance

Visit the One-Stop Career Center nearest you. Details about Career Center locations is obtainable on the Internet.

You are not registered for work if you are:

  • not presently residing in Florida,
  • on a temporary layoff of not more than 8 weeks,
  • a union member who usually obtains work through a union hiring hall, or
  • a member in an approved Short-time Compensation plan.

Disaster Relief Jobs in Florida

If you’re looking for employment and a way to help hurricane victims in Florida, many opportunities are available in storm-damaged areas across the state.

The SBA has listed several jobs to provide disaster relief to Floridians.

Current job listings include:

  • Legal Review/Loan Closings
  • Disaster verification
  • Customer service
  • Disaster Recovery Specialist (DRS)
  • IT support
  • Program support
  • Public affairs

If you live in Florida or are willing to travel there, and you have skills that fit disaster recovery needs, you’ll find no shortage of available jobs. And if you’ve previously been employed in sectors such as leisure, tourism, retail, and hospitality, you may be able to take this opportunity to make a job change – at least until those industries recover across the state.

Many emergency management positions are available in areas of Florida hit hardest by Hurricane Ian. Positions range from disaster debris monitors and members of cleanup crews to opportunities at disaster relief shelters. In addition, if you have insurance experience, there currently exist many opportunities to serve as appraisers, field adjusters, and claims processors. Crisis counselors, emergency services coordinators, and telephone operators also remain in short supply, so workers with those skill sets are sorely needed.

Perhaps most notably, over the long term, those with construction skills and experience will be needed to help the state repair and rebuild the many structures damaged in the wake of the storm. Before Hurricane Ian made landfall, Florida already struggled in many areas to fill skilled construction roles. The damage wrought by the storm makes it likely that demand for skilled construction workers will only increase over the coming months – and even years. Along the same lines, roles for engineers may increase with the need to repair and replace bridges and other infrastructure damaged by the storm.

In addition, if you are a small business owner in Florida who has been impacted by Hurricane Ian or another natural disaster, the U.S. Small Business Association makes available disaster loans that can help keep your business afloat and ensure that it not only recovers but thrives. Options include everything from physical damage loans and mitigation assistance to economic injury assistance loans.

  1. I live in Florida and will now have to perform job searches. While I did this for the first few weeks of this month, I wasn’t able to do them for the last two and I am to request payment on July 1st. Will I still get paid or will I be disqualified for missing those two weeks? I have looked this week however and will continue next week.

    • William,

      If you did not claim for a specific week, the payment is gone. You will not be able retroactive the claim as much as I know.

  2. Can you print a paper form to apply for unemployment on line the take in?In-possible to get in on line?

  3. My name is Omar arango and just moved from NJ to Hollywood FL and would like to know if I can take a caregiver course , I worked for 6 years there .I have income from unemployment but cannot receive because I left Florida due to family issues. Due I qualify please let me know thank you

    • Omar,

      Thank you for the post. Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for more.

  4. Hi, I haven’t been able to find the answer to this question online anywhere. I first applied for unemployment benefits 2 weeks ago. Tomorrow will be the first time i can submit a claim for payment, which will be 1 week i suppose? Last week i accepted a job, but will not start until 7/8. I know i should be able to request benefits until 7/7, but i’m not sure about meeting the requirement to submit 5 job contacts, since i’m no longer applying to places. I have already signed my job offer, gone through background & drug test screening. It’s a done deal, not up in the air. Are you required to arbitrarily apply to 5 jobs a week that you have zero intent on working for? Thank you

    • Desiree,

      All your questions are best answered by the Unemployment Office in your state. Please call the Claims Center for help.

      • I have several questions. I’ve been on unemployment through the whole pandemic and now that it’s starting to wind down and we have to do the job search does Florida crown workforce count as a job search and do I have to go up there at least three times a week or does one day at Florida Crown work force count as three or five (depending on where you live) times a week?

  5. I registered for unemployment on 6/12, and was instructed to come back on 6/24 for make my first payment claim. It stated I was in a “waiting week.” Question- do I need to apply to 5 jobs BEFORE 6/24, or 10 jobs (5 this week & 5 next week) before making my first claim? It doesn’t specify… thank you

    • You’ll be required to claim and report job searches as usual. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

      • What about maternity leave? I left for maternity leave was told I was not able to receive for short term disability I was covered under FMLA 12 weeks with no pay. After finding out my infant has special needs to be taken care of at home he’s not gaining weight is not growing like he supposed to he’s not eating like he supposed to. He’s constantly in need of something and he doesn’t know what it is yet he’ll fuss fuss fuss he barely sleeps and that’s a good day for him. He is on a liquid diet and should be on table food. I have all the supporting documents that right now is not the best time for me to go back to work yet I’m still denied unemployment
        because I didn’t do the job search. It sounds simple but it isnt .I just want to know what’s the point looking for the job when I really can’t accept it my son is a special needs baby he has an ENT, GI, and speech therapist doctor. Im waiting on his genetic test results. Is there an easier or different approach altogether for receiving financial help. I know that question if the government wants us to rely on them for our rations why is it being so hard and difficult to receive the hand out. After 10 consecutive years working for a company you would think they would have a better way of taking care of their employee. I’m guessing it’s every man for themselves

        • Viki,

          Unfortunately, the system does not consider personal reasons. UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons.

      • Thank you! One more question that i wasn’t able to find a clear answer to online. As I stated above, I initially filed on 6/12, and was instructed to submit my payment claim on 6/24. Do you have any ballpark idea of when i would receive my first direct deposit? Also, after this account is established, when do you typically receive a direct deposit after filling out your bi-weekly claim? My bi-weekly date seems to fall on a Monday. THANK YOU!!!!

        • If it’s electronic, payment is deposited within a couple of days. Suggest you call the Claims Center to find out the exact date.

  6. I have not been employed for ten years or more, I would like to return to the work force is there any training available, courses, schools, grants, plans?

  7. I was self employed but not working at all and is now looking for job training to get back in the workforce. Where do I go to find help?

    • Pat,

      To claim, the unemployed worker is required to have active employment and earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters. Please contact the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  8. What is the website to register for work in FL? I am claiming NC unemployment, however since I am no longer living in NC I cannot register for work with them and was told to register in my state.

    Thanks,
    Stephanie

  9. When submitting a claim and filling in the jobs I’ve applied to… some of the jobs are in other States (outside of Florida). I have been receiving my checks without issue, but my wife seems to think that you are not allowed to use “out of State” jobs to claim Florida unemployment benefits. So I decided to look up “applying in other States” and I can’t find any references anywhere. So the question is: Can I submit claims referencing jobs I’ve applied to in another State? -OR- to put it another way… Can you only claim referencing Florida-based jobs?

  10. I was recently laid off from 4 yr job.I took another job $400 less a month,been there one week.I would like to quit Can i file while i find something similar?

    • If you quit voluntarily, you will not be eligible.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to check if you can apply on the basis of the job you were laid off from.

    • If you received the Severance package as a lump sum, you can apply immediately.Otherwise, please wait until the payment period is over before applying.

    • Jan,

      Not sure what you mean by “Office”. If you’re referring to the Unemployment Office, you may not be required to physically visit since most of the formalities are managed online/over the phone. Please call the Claims Center for further information.

  11. I became unemployed July 1, 2015, but was told I was not initially eligible for benefits due to receiving a severance. Since the severance period completed, I have worked contractually. My last contract ended on July 29, 2016. How do I apply for benefits since my contractual agreement did not come with documentation that I am not employed. I spoke with the Staffing Agency, and they said it is not something they do. I am now 5 weeks without a pay, and feel as though I should be eligible for benefits.

    • Contracted employees are generally not eligible.

      You may call the Unemployment Office in your state for further details.

  12. I am not very good on a computer, I don’t understand a lot of things, like when I type something in and hit the button, it doesn’t just go to the sites, it goes to more things where I have to figure out which one to choose and I can never figure it out, can You help Me? I need to file My job search for My claim each week, I have never claimed unemployment before.

    • Well, we do not have access to the systems to be able to help you with the reporting process.

      Please seek help from a friend or a family member. You will get used to it in a short span of time.

  13. I recently became unemployed in Jacksonville Florida, I was a medical transcriptionist for 20 years. Is there any way I could get help with training for a different field since transcription is obsolete?

    • You can call the Unemployment Office in your state for details on sponsored training programs. The details can also be obtained online, on the official website of the Labor Department in your state.

  14. I am currently receiving unemployment from a different state but have recently moved to FL, in Nebraska on our unemployment site there is job search abilities but since I am not currently receiving unemployment benefits in FL can I still utitilize the job searching on your website?

    • Please note we’re not a govt. agency. I don’t think there should be an issues looking for jobs on a different state’s website.

      Kindly call the claims center to confirm this.

  15. I am asking for my daughter i live in another state but she resides in fla… does fla unemployment help people obtain thier G.E.D?

  16. I live in Venice, FL (just moved here) and in the process of becoming a resident. I collect UE from PA due to being laid off. Can I get job training opportunities here in FL, if I’m receiving benefits from PA?

  17. I am 54 age female, I am pc technician to repire hardware, was working in the pc industry more then 17 yrs, I lost the job this year early; I try hard to find a job in the pc repair industry.
    Please help me!

  18. general question, if you have been on unemployment for almost a year can you get an extension due to being in school?

  19. I HAVE TRIED FOR HOURS, EVEN HAD HELP, HOW DO U FILE YOUR WEEKLY JOB SEEKS FOR CERTIFICATION very frustraited, please help

  20. I was contacted by someone in your office regarding not having my email and also wanting a resume. I can not find where i need to add these onto. Please advise.
    Thank you,
    Deb Hansen

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