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Ohio Unemployment Job Search Requirements

Ohio Unemployment Job Search Requirements

In order to keep on collecting Ohio unemployment, you must be able and willing to work. Part of the initial application process is to register on the OhioMeansJobs website. As you continue to collect benefits, you will need to engage in an honest search for new employment. The details of these work search activities may be requested by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, so it’s important to keep an active record of your job search.

What are Ohio Work Search requirements?

When you file a weekly claim for Ohio unemployment benefits, you must provide documentation that you performed two work search activities during the week you are claiming. You should keep a written record of these activities for at least three years after you stop collecting unemployment, in case the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services requests to see this information. A good written record of your work search activities includes the type of activity, the location, method of contact, date, and documentation of the result.

What are acceptable job search activities?

Here are some examples of acceptable work search activities:

  • Attending a job fair
  • Submitting a resume
  • Attending an interview
  • Visiting a union hiring hall
  • Submitting a job application
  • Attending a job training
  • Contacting an employment or staffing agency
  • Creating a profile on OhioMeansJobs or a professional networking site like LinkedIn

Any good faith activity conducted with the reasonable expectation that it will assist in securing potential employment may also be considered, such as attending an informal community networking event.

Remember that you must keep a written record of these activities, even if there is no receipt, per se. For instance, if you attend a job fair, write down the date, time, address, and name of the fair, along with notations about any conversations you might have had with potential employers.

What is OhioMeansJobs?

OhioMeansJobs centers are located in 88 counties throughout Ohio. Anyone who visits one of the centers can enjoy free services like job search orientation sessions, staff assistance finding suitable work, an assessment of your skills and referrals to the right resources, training programs, vocational rehabilitation, or other local partner programs, and a resource room with job listings, internet access, telephones, copiers, and fax machines. The purpose of the resource room is to help you find and apply for jobs.

In addition to these in-person unemployment office locations, there is also the OhioMeansJobs website with over 100,000 job openings. Services include a resume builder, skills rater, budget calculator, career path assessment, and GED and college entrance practice tests. There are also special resource sections for unemployed veterans and disabled individuals.

Do I have to accept any job offer?

You are required to accept any job that reasonably aligns with your skills and work experience, no matter the shift. If you restrict your hours, wages, or create limitations around your future employment, you may be denied benefits. You are not required to take jobs that compromise your health, safety, or morality, nor are you required to take jobs that require relocation or an unreasonable commute.

Keep in mind that prior wages are not normally considered when determining if work is suitable. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will, however, consider other factors mentioned above (health, safety, distance, and morals). If you turn down potential employment, you may be required to attend an interview to discuss whether or not your refusal to accept new work was based on good cause, and whether or not you can therefore retain your ongoing Ohio unemployment eligibility.

Additional Reemployment Requirements

If 8 weeks have gone by and you are still collecting benefits, you must accelerate your work search by uploading a complete, comprehensive, and searchable resume to the OhioMeansJobs website. Claimants are required to register during the Ohio unemployment application process.

By week 20, Ohio claimants must complete a Career Profile in their OhioMeansJobs online account. Keep in mind that these requirements are in addition to the ongoing work search requirement of two activities per week, although each of these counts as an acceptable work search activity.

If you are a member of a union or hiring hall when you apply for benefits, the Ohio unemployment office will send you a document that must be signed by your union representative. Membership in a union can waive your work search requirements, but if this signed documentation is not received, you will not be excused from the work search requirements of two activities per week.

Individuals who have been guaranteed a return by their current employer within 45 days are also exempt from work search activities. However, your employer will be contacted by the Ohio unemployment office to verify that this is true.

What is the Reemployment Service Program?

The Reemployment Service Program is meant to assist claimants in returning to the workforce. There are sessions and activities claimants are required to attend, about which they will be mailed details by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.

These appointments may include workshops, one-on-one coaching or sessions, or online classes or seminars. If you miss your appointment, you must take action to reschedule, or face a temporary denial of benefits until a new session is available. These service program activities cannot count as work search activities, so you must continue to conduct those as well.

What happens when I find a full time job?

When you secure a new full-time job, you do not need to provide formal notice to the unemployment department. You simply need to stop filing your weekly claim and it will expire.

Remember that Ohio unemployment benefits are meant to help provide job seekers until they find new employment security. Unemployed Ohioans must indicate they are willing to become Ohio workers once again through the Ohio unemployment work search requirements. To remain in good standing for their existing claim, they must show that they are making satisfactory progress toward finding a new job through their work search activity.

Weekly work search activities are also necessary for continuing to collect the weekly benefit amount that one has been assigned. Ohio workforce services are there to help with workforce development for each potential worker through the Ohio Means Jobs centers and websites, offering coaching, seminars, and resume writing classes in person and online.

Ohio Job Training Programs and Services


OhioMeansJobs is the premier go-to resource for unemployed individuals collecting UI benefits. Registering on the website is a required component of Ohio unemployment eligibility when claimants in the Buckeye State apply for benefits.

Individuals who are still collecting benefits after 8 weeks must upload a fully searchable resume, and after 20 weeks, a comprehensive profile. There are tens of thousands of jobs posted on this site every day, in part because Ohio was the first state to take the initiative and develop a public-private partnership with the private sector and collaborate with

On-the-Job Training (OJT)

On-the-Job Training is a plan for individuals to receive training funded through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and TAA programs. The term “On-the-Job Training” means training by an employer that is provided to a paid participant while engaged in productive work that offers knowledge or skills essential to the full and adequate performance of that job; provides reimbursement to the employer for the costs associated with training the OJT trainee, which are usually calculated at half the pay rate for the agreed-upon training period, and is limited in duration.

OJT is an exceptional vehicle for individuals to build their skills, to re-establish themselves in new fields and to increase employment retention and self-sufficiency. Besides receiving reimbursement for a portion of an OJT participant’s hourly wage rate, employers providing an OJT can hire workers who are trained in skills and competencies that specifically meet their business needs.

Ohio’s OJT services are available through Ohio’s 90 local OhioMeansJobs Centers. Ohio has 90 local job offices that assist job seekers, employers and youth with a wide range of workforce-related services. Every OhioMeansJobs office offers job search assistance, employee recruitment, job training, and much, much more.

Aspire Programs

Aspire Programs combine adult education with career exploration. These supportive services are available in all 88 counties in the state of Ohio for adults to obtain workforce skills and postsecondary education to expand their job opportunities or deepen the earning potential of their current career path. Aspire programs can also help with basic core skills such as math, reading, and writing.

There are also GED prep classes and ESL classes (English as a second language) to help Ohioans bridge any communication gaps that might be getting in the way of their job search, or retaining gainful employment. Additional enrichment programs include life skills, workplace etiquette, and computer literacy.


The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services participates in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which was signed into law in July 2014. This federal legislation was meant to assist the economy and workforce by increasing opportunities for individuals who might otherwise have barriers to employment. It encouraged states to invest in workforce development and provide potential job seekers with the necessary skills and credentials to find and retain gainful employment.

Long term goals for the WIOA include increasing the prosperity of workers and employers through increased earnings and improved employee retention. Individuals who collect unemployment insurance can find a training program that’s right for them, along with relevant Ohio labor market information at an OhioMeansJobs center.

Ohio Job Training for Veterans

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (otherwise known as the VA) has special programs and funding to assist Veterans entering the civilian workforce and help them find new employment if they currently file a weekly claim for unemployment benefits. For instance, GI Bill benefits can help pay for college, graduate school, job training, or vocational rehabilitation.

You can learn more about these programs by contacting your local VA representative or going in person to a VA office location. The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Network for Military Families and Veterans also provides resources, information about educational programs, and online tools. Veterans can explore labor market information and get help locating relevant job openings.

Ohio Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships involve learning a particular set of industry-specific skills from a master, usually through one-on-one or small group training with an employer. Although apprenticeship is not a common career path for those graduating high school and entering post-secondary education, it is an excellent way for unemployed job seekers to discover a new skill set and reenter the workforce into a high paying, hands-on career.

Many types of jobs that require technical skills or performance require some form of on-the-job training (OJT) or apprenticeship in order for the new employee to master the trade and its tools. You can learn more about paid apprenticeship opportunities at your local Ohio unemployment office locations.

Wagner-Peyser Labor Exchange Services

Wagner-Peyser Labor Exchange Services is a federally subsidized labor exchange service that helps with resume preparation, job matching, and ultimately job placement. Business services for employers include employee screening and assistance with filling vacancies. These services are named after the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933.

Passed into law during the Great Depression, it was the first step towards creating a national network of career center offices and public assistance geared toward developing workforce professionals. Today many of the Wagner-Peyser services are found through the OhioMeansJobs websites and brick and mortar American Job Centers or Ohio Means Jobs Centers.

Troops to Teachers

Troops to Teachers is a very specific type of employment program, helping Veterans enter the K-12 education career path. Moreover, Troops to Teachers also focuses on bringing these individuals into educational venues with at-risk youth in need of strong, inspirational role models to create a positive classroom culture. Services offered include education and training to obtain 2 and 4-year degrees.

The long term goal of Troops to Teachers is to create job opportunities for young individuals who might otherwise find barriers to employment because of their at-risk status. For unemployed Veterans, Troops to Teachers might provide a unique reemployment service in a career path they have not yet explored, one which interfaces with a meaningful form of youth services.

  1. I was with my former company for 4 years and I was recently fired as a result of getting into more than one car accident while on duty. 100% of my job takes place on the turnpike. If I am interpreting the law correctly, it states that I can be denied for, “willful misconduct.” I didn’t intentionally get into an accident. What is my legal defense in this situation?

    • Hi, Robert – if you’re looking for specific legal advice about your situation, your best option is to connect with a qualified unemployment lawyer in your state.

  2. Here’s a scenario:
    I have 5 job contacts during Week 7, and I have only 1 job contact in Week 8. Would I only get unemployment pay for Week 7, or would I get unemployment pay for both weeks since I averaged at least two job contacts for those 2 weeks?

    • Dear Paul A Torres,

      You have to perform at least 2 work search activities each week.

      There are a few exceptions however, per the Ohio webpage:

      “Ohio law does not require a weekly work search in certain, limited instances. For example, individuals may be exempted from the work-search requirement if they are in agency-approved training, if their employers notified ODJFS that they are being laid off temporarily, up to 45 days, or for an extended work search waiver if the closure is for the purpose of productivity and economic stability. Some individuals also may have their work-search requirement considered met if they are making satisfactory progress in school or if they are members of a union and in good standing with a labor organization that refers individuals to jobs.”



    • Tom,

      Unemployment Insurance benefits are offered to claimants who’re able and available for work (actively seeking employment opportunities). Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  3. I have been offered a part time job which will pay me less on a gross scale than I get from my unemployment after taxes are taken out. If I accept this job will unemployment continue to pay me minus the wages I have made that week?

  4. I was an overseas contractor, the American company I worked for is based in Texas I applied for benefits there. I am a Ohio resident I posted my resume on Career Builders web site on but it shows I’m not registered and I’ve done weekly Job searches

    • Please call the Claims Center for further details in this regard.

      They will be able to check the registration and provide further details.

  5. I applied for a job a couple weeks ago and listed this company as one of my two during that week. This week I had a phone interview with their HR department. Am I allowed to list them again as one of my companies for this week?

    • Please call the Claims Center on the phone numbers provided for a specific response since I am not sure if the same can be included for the current week as well.

  6. What all information is required for Job Search (2 per week)? In most cases, I am not given a point of contact, but go on websites and apply for jobs and submit my resumes there. Am I still required to provide a point of contact? How do I do that?

    • Each state has its own expectations when it comes to reporting job searches.Please call the customer service of the labor dept in your state to get details.

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