Pennsylvania Unemployment Job Search Requirements

Pennsylvania Unemployment Job Search Requirements

In order to continue remaining eligible for UI, it is important that a claimant actively seeks out new job opportunities. As UC is intended to cover your struggle to get a new job, it’s vital that you meet the specified job search requirements while you are on UC.

Job search requirements for the state of Pennsylvania are as follows:

  • Applicants must actively hunt for new jobs
  • A minimum of two job contacts must be made in a week. Job contacts mean correspondence through email and resume submissions
  • All claimants are expected to preserve the proof of correspondence with an employer and produce it as and when it is asked for
  • A claimant must not be physically disabled. If you are differently abled, there are other programs to assist you.

All applicants are expected to prepare a work search report for every week for which they file a claim. Claimants will have to produce this work search report when asked to. Failure to do so may lead to disqualification from benefits.

If you live in Pennsylvania and collect Unemployment Compensation, you must be able to show proof that you are searching for a new job. This PA job search requirement is important for continuing to collect benefits until the time you have a new job again.

What Is the PA Work Search Requirement?

To continue receiving your weekly PA unemployment benefit, you must conduct a genuine work search. By the definition of the PA Office of Unemployment Compensation, this includes applying for two jobs per week and conducting one approved work search activity.

You don’t have to apply to every single job listing. You should apply for the types of jobs that you are capable of performing – that is, similar perhaps to what you were doing before you lost your job. You are also allowed to limit your search to jobs that pay a comparable salary to what you were earning, and that are within a 45 minute commute.

Work Search Activities

What qualifies as a work search activity?

Here are some examples of eligible work search activities in Pennsylvania:

  • Attend a job fair – A job fair is a great place to meet potential employers in person and even fill out some applications.
  • Search for a new job on the PA CareerLink or job posting boards – The PA CareerLink website is a great place to find a potential new job, with over 199,500 jobs posted at the time of this article.
  • Post your resume to the PA CareerLink website – You can also post your resume to the PA CareerLink site, so that potential employers browsing for talent such as yours can easily find you.
  • Participate in networking activities – A networking activity might be something like a brunch meeting with a guest speaker. They are often industry specific venues.
  • Meet with an employment agency – An employment agency has recruiters that can help you polish your resume and find a job that’s the right fit. Some employment agencies, often called temp agencies, specialize in connecting you with temporary work (such as secretarial or administrative gigs).
  • Take a civil service test or comparable pre-employment exam – The civil service test is a stepping stone toward working in public administration. Similarly, your desired profession may have a pre-employment exam that is a standard part of entering that particular career field.
  • Participate in a PA CareerLink workshop – Your local PA CareerLink branch office will occasionally have workshops you can attend. These workshops may help boost your employability by cultivating skills such as resume writing and how to interview.
  • If you are self-employed, you can submit bids for contacting work – Not everyone who collects UC was employed. Some underemployed individuals once had clients of their own. If you are a freelancer or gig worker, you can submit bids for contract jobs to fulfill this requirement.

What’s the Difference Between Work Registration and Work Search?

Work registration means registering with PA CareerLink. You must do this within 30 days of filing your unemployment claim by creating a Keystone ID (if you don’t have one) for the PA CareerLink System. All it takes is going to the website and filling in some basic information like your name and address.

Make sure this information matches what you have put down in the Unemployment Compensation portal. You can pick particular job preferences to help direct you toward a particular type of work you might be familiar with. Work Search is a separate requirement, outlined above – namely, applying to two jobs every week and completing one particular type of work search activity.

How To Apply for a Job

The jobs you apply for can be similar in scope and salary to what you had before, and within a 45 minute commute. You can apply for a job in person, over the phone, or online.

You should keep a record of your job search activities for up to 2 years after collecting unemployment, because the PA Department of Labor and Industry may request to see proof of your job search anywhere in that timeframe.

Claimants should know that you cannot apply for the same job over and over again. The employment opportunities you seek must also be suitable work for you. That means job seekers must be seeking job openings for which they are actually qualified, instead of applying for jobs they know they won’t get just so they can keep on collecting UC benefits.

Tracking Your Work Search History

You need to track your work search history, but you can do that however you see fit. Remember that you need to apply to two jobs every week and engage in one work search activity. You can be asked to submit records of your weekly job search activities at any time. If you are unable to produce these records, you may lose your UC benefits or even be asked to pay back some or all of the money.

Some UC benefits recipients might find it best to save paper copies of their job applications in a file. Uploading your job applications to the benefits portal might also be an easy way to store the record of your work search efforts. All you need to do is log on to your benefits portal, navigate to the Unemployment Services, select Provide Additional Documentation, and then Upload a Document.

Document your job searches every week and save this information for up to two years of applying for UC benefits. The state of Pennsylvania can review your work search records during this time. If they determine your work search was not made in earnest, you might lose future Pennsylvania unemployment eligibility, or you may even have to repay benefits you’ve already collected.

PA Unemployment Work Search Exemptions

You can be exempt from the PA work search requirements if you receive work through a union hiring hall or are on a shared work plan through your employer.

You are also exempt if you are in Trade Act Training, as are those individuals attending a RESEA session for that particular week they file their claim. If you have a recall date from your former employer in writing, you also do not have to engage in a job search and can rely on that promise.

In all these cases, when prompted on your weekly certification as to whether or not you completed all required activities, you will select yes. Also, note that people collecting Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation were exempt from a work search for a certain period of time during the Covid Pandemic.

PA Job Training

PA CareerLink is an online tool for linking job seekers or employers. The tool mainly offers resume writing and job hunting services.

Other services include

  • Locating training services
  • Obtain vocational rehabilitation
  • Research careers

Visit the One Stop Career Center closest to you to find out about various training programs available.

Unemployment insurance is meant to help cover the costs of your living expenses. You can use the PA Unemployment Calculator to estimate your unemployment benefits. Keep in mind that PA unemployment compensation does not include free job training or vocational rehabilitation. However, Pennsylvania’s CareerLink centers do provide training opportunities, workshops, and counseling to help individuals find their next job.

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) also can help with state grants and educational loans for job training, as does the federally funded Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program. Pennsylvania also has a unique, free program called SkillUp, which provides some self-directed, web-based e-learning in areas like office management, cybersecurity, human resources, and project management.

Career Training

An excellent idea is to overcome unemployment stress by improving your skills and techniques to get better jobs. Your talent should be compensated in accordance with what your employer would expect. It is very necessary to increase the depth of your skill either through education or through training that will surely help you to land on a suitable job.

Pennsylvania Workforce Commission has featured various programs to assist and continue unemployed education, further by providing training and offering new skills.

By empowering youth with the skills and opportunities they can build their careers that create a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities. By utilizing State or private education and training programs, unemployed citizens will be linked to job opportunities.

Pennsylvania Unemployment Career Counseling and Financial Assistance

Pennsylvania unemployment benefits consist of career counseling, weekly benefit check, job and skill re-training services and job placement services. Further, it includes information about other resources and services and also help making a resume and training on how to interview well.

The state is also furnished with the Temporary Assistance program that can help with financial assistance, food stamps, training and job searching in the Pennsylvania. Spending on training schemes to re-skill the unemployed through investment in vocational education or guaranteed work experience for unemployed is the highlighted assistance from the State Program.

Unemployed and Training Programs

If you are unemployed, looking to start your career, or if you are planning to change your career direction then you are assisted by large number of optional education and training programs funded by Pennsylvania.

PA Unemployment Insurance Agency plays a vital role in supporting unemployed workers as well as their families through crucial time of financial crisis. Programs are featured in order to support during economic hardship by providing temporary monetary benefits for those eligible and qualified.

Vocational Training Programs

This program offers you with the opportunity to return to full time education, if you are considered unemployed. One of the main intentions behind this scheme is to offer unemployed people with education and training skill that will assist with job mobility. Another aim of this program is to equip unemployed to get paid for their employment or to further opportunities leading to paid better.

Training Courses

Training Courses are implemented in order to offer unemployed an opportunity to develop or upgrade their skills in the field of commercial or industrial sectors if you are unemployed.
General training course programs includes the training in the field of:

  • Accounting
  • Banking
  • Construction Project Management
  • Land Surveying
  • Sales
  • Textile Merchandising
  • Teaching
  • Workplace Success Professional Skills
  • Entrepreneurship training


Trainee-ship offers the on job training who is already working for a company or if in case if he/she is a first time job seeker then they are trained under offline job training procedure.

Higher Education Programs

This program  provides the skill developing programs for  employees who are already working in the field of construction, manufacturing or other sectors of the economy assist with higher education programs. These education and training programs are done by identifying different sectors of economy that offers solid growth potential but lack appropriately qualified candidates.

    • Jennifer,

      You can look at exploring the ‘Career Centers’ for job and training requirements. The PA unemployment website has the required details.

  1. im currently in collage that I just started does unemployment help out with this anymore? Older people told me they use to be I don’t see anything that they do?

    • Tara,

      If you’re schooling full-time, it will affect your ability to work full-time. Under these circumstances, you’ll not qualify.

  2. I have tried to do the job thing required by unemployment it keeps asking me about a keystone password that i don;t remember it’s been too long since ive had it it has made it so that i cannot recieve my unemployment bennifits i need these to pay my bills my husband just had two strokes and i have been app;ying online for jobs i have the paperwork i filled out for you all and i cant find anyone to fax it for me please help!!!!!

    • Margaret,

      I can understand your frustration. Please call the Claims Center or try to visiting the nearest office for an update.

  3. I currently receive unemployment from Pennsylvania. I am interested in learning PLC maintenance. Does Pennsylvania have a program to assist with this endeavor?

    • I am not sure of the available programs. Please call the Unemployment Office or visit the nearest unit for further details.

  4. i started a medical billing and coding course to learn a new profession following the closure of the hospital i worked for. is attending school/classes permissible? is attending job fairs and applying for jobs still required?

    • If the program is certified by the Unemployment Office in your state, you can continue attending.

      Please call them for further information.

  5. I am interested in applying for the jibs at the new restaurants and motels/hotels in Altoona/Hollidaysburg area. Where do I find what is available and where to apply?

  6. I have worked for this company for 36 years and I will be 63 in July. I have been talking about retirement the last couple of months so the company asked me if I would take a layoff so they could keep some of the younger workers. If I take the layoff would I (because of my age 63) )still have to apply for jobs every week, or could I just collect until my checks ran out and then retire????

    • Depends.If you file for UI benefits in your state, you’ve to apply for jobs and submit proof to the labor dept.

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