Texas Unemployment Job Search Requirements
In Texas, one of the most important steps to take in order to maintain eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits is documenting and submitting all of your job search activities for each week you’re claiming unemployment benefits. If you’re unsure where to start, we’ll walk you through the process for understanding work search requirements in Texas, along with how to most effectively provide the documentation required for your benefits.
What Is the Texas Work Search Requirement?
Unemployment law in Texas stipulates that for each week a worker claims unemployment benefits, they must participate in a minimum level of job search activities. These work search activities must be documented and included in the weekly claims the worker submits for unemployment insurance or UI benefits. In addition, unemployed Texans receiving unemployment benefits in Texas must be prepared to share their full log of job search activities with the Texas Workforce Commission at any point it is requested.
Once you’ve submitted your initial claim and registered through the Work in Texas website, you will receive a determination letter that will specify the minimum level of work search activity you are required to undertake each week. Each minimum level is set by the individual county in which you are applying for UI benefits. You must actively meet this minimum level of weekly job search activities to remain eligible for Texas unemployment benefits.
You will be required to:
- Apply and accept suitable full-time employment.
- Look for a job according to the state defined guidelines.
- Document and submit the minimum number of work search activities every week.
- Keep track of verified work search activities records.
- Register on WorkInTexas.com if you live in Texas. If you stay in another state, you will be required to register at that state’s public workforce.
- Submit work search activities log to TWC upon request.
Texas Work Search Exemptions
Texas does provide for some exemptions to its job search requirements. For example, if you are subjected to a temporary layoff and you have a firm return to work date, you do not have to show that you are looking for a new job. The Texas unemployment calculator can help you estimate the unemployment benefit amount you should receive in the meantime.
Exemptions From Work Search Requirements
- You are participating in the Shared-Work program
- You are laid off temporarily with a specific return-to-work date
- You are actively participating in the Trade Act training program
- You are a part of TWC-approved training that includes work search exemption
- You are union member with a non-discriminatory hiring hall
Also, if you are an active member in good standing of a labor union with a non-discriminatory hiring hall, you can be exempt from Texas work search requirements. Unemployed Texans who are enrolled and participating in a TWC-approved vocational rehabilitation or training program that includes a work search exemption fall outside of job search stipulations, as do those who are involved in Trade Act training or a shared-work program.
Texas Work Registration Requirement
If you’re receiving Texas unemployment insurance benefits, you also must register for job searching on the Texas Workforce page WorkinTexas.com, which is the state’s online job matching system.
One of the most important components of maintaining your eligibility for Texas unemployment benefits is the stipulation that you will accept suitable work when it is offered. The Texas Workforce Commission determines whether a job offer constitutes suitable work based on how well it aligns with the following:
- Your education, experience, skills, and expertise
- Working conditions and wages for comparable jobs in your area
- Your personal health and safety
- Your moral beliefs
- Traveling distance to the job from your home, considering local commuting patterns
- The length of time you’ve been without work
Considering these criteria, you can refuse to take a job for the following reasons:
- If the job offers wages, hours, or other work conditions that are substantially less favorable than other similar work in your area
- If the work poses a threat to your physical or mental health or your moral beliefs
- If the job requires you to resign from a labor union of which you currently are a member
- If the job requires you to join a company labor union
- If the job has become available as the direct result of a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute
You must register with WorkinTexas within three days of filing your initial Texas unemployment application in order to remain in compliance with Texas unemployment law. This job search site also provides assistance to unemployed Texans as they seek new job opportunities across the state, even as they receive unemployment compensation. The work registration requirement applies not only to workers who live in Texas, but also to those who commute from a bordering state into Texas.
How To Search For Work?
When you apply for benefits, the Texas Workforce Commission will send a letter that includes details about the minimum number of work searches that you should complete each week.
Begin your work search by listing your skills and using technology to look for a job. Note that there is a list of acceptable work search activities in Texas, which one must follow while applying for unemployment benefits.
Work Search Activities
The Texas Workforce Commission recognizes many different activities as appropriate work search activities. Please note that the TWC’s list is not exhaustive, so unemployed Texans are welcome to submit for approval additional activities that they believe fulfill job search requirements.
Acceptable work search activities typically include registering with WorkInTexas.com as required, plus searching for jobs on WorkInTexas.com or MyTXCareer.com. In addition, signing up for these sites’ virtual recruiting services, which push out alerts about new job openings that match your skill set and experience, is an acceptable job search activity, as is following up on any leads on job openings you receive.
You can register your job search with a private employment agency, a vocational rehabilitation center, the career placement service of a school, college or university, or any other electronic job matching system as a work search activity. But please note that this type of registration must be in addition to, not in place of, registering with WorkInTexas.com.
Other appropriate work search activities include making in-person visits, submitting specific job applications, sharing your resume or interviewing with potential employers, along with uploading your resume to various job boards, or creating a re-employment plan.
Participating in networking activities like a job fair, employment-related workshop, etc., along with taking part in various skills assessments and vocational rehabilitation offered by your local workforce solutions office or community workforce partners are acceptable work search activities. You also can document any instructional workshops or specialized training you’ve attended from any training provider – for example, workshops to help improve resume development and interview skills or completing and passing a Metrix Learning course.
Obtaining and using labor market information from your local workforce solutions office and looking for work opportunities through the U.S. National Labor Exchange website also counts as appropriate work search activities.
Acceptable Work Search Activities In Texas
- Registering and searching jobs on WorkInTexas.com
- Using the Virtual Recruiter tool to receive notifications on new jobs that suit your skills
- Preparing resume and sending it to the employer through the mail, fax, or in-person
- Uploading your resume in top job search portals, or mailing it to employers directly
- Following up job contacts from WorkInTexas.com
- Registering for work with schools/universities/college or private employment agencies
- Participating in job-related workshops, job fairs, or similar events
- Collecting and utilizing labor market information
- Participating in targeted training programs designed to enhance skills
- Actively taking part in reemployment services that are designed for job seekers
- Participating in skills evaluation for occupational matching
- Participating in instructional workshops that teaches job-searching techniques
Document Your Texas Work Search Activities
Texas requires that every job seeker provide documentation for the minimum work search activities required for each week – however, it is in your best interests to document all job search activities you are involved in. Remember that you are required to share this documentation not only as part of your weekly certification, but also at any point it is requested by the Texas Workforce Commission. You should retain all job search logs for an entire unemployment benefit year, or for as long as you receive Texas unemployment benefits, whichever is longer.
If you are selected to submit your job search log, you will receive a notice from the Texas Workforce Commission, including detailed instructions for how to submit your work search log. All job search information you share with TWC must be accurate and reflective of your true work search activities. Intentionally providing false information about your job search activities constitutes unemployment fraud and can mean a loss of UI benefits, overpayments on your claim, and in some cases, even criminal prosecution.
The Texas Workforce Commission makes available a job search log, which you can download and use to submit your work search activities. If you’d rather create your own log, you are welcome to do so, but you must ensure that it contains all the same information as outlined in the TWC job search log.
The form asks for simple, straightforward information about your work search activities: dates, type of activities completed, type of work you are seeking, contact information for any potential employers, plus any direct contacts you’ve reached out to or spoken with, and the results of your activities for that week. For example: Have you received a reply? Set an appointment? Once you’ve addressed all the questions presented in the log, your documentation of your work search activities is complete.
Keep good records! Failure to look for, apply for, or accept suitable work will keep you from receiving benefits. Protect your eligibility by writing details about all the work search activities you make. TWC verifies work search activities.
While documenting your activities, make sure to include:
- Type of jobs you are seeking
- Date of your work search activity
- Nature of your search activity, for instance, you applied for a job online, interviewed at XYZ office, etc.
- Employers’ names, addresses, phone numbers with area codes, and mail ID
- Result of your search activity, for instance, hired, no reply, interviewed, etc.
- Method of contact, for example, mail, fax, or phone
If you cannot provide TWC evidence of work search efforts, which includes sufficient details that TWC can verify, you will be barred for payment, and TWC will ask you to pay back any benefits you received.
Texas Unemployment Job Training
Find education opportunities, occupational or vocational training, and other resources to assist you build your skills. Contact your Workforce Solutions office for help.
Search one of the largest job databases WorkInTexas.com in Texas. Register for work so employers can find you. Use job search resources to increase your job opportunities. Get resume writing tips and find out job-winning interviewing techniques. Besides personalized job matching, WorkInTexas.com also provides access to career tools, and works as your job search agent.
Metrix Online Learning Platform
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and online learning platform Metrix have joined forces to deliver employment help for Texas residents collecting unemployment. Just by signing up, you can enjoy over 5,000 free classes produced and managed by Skillsoft.
These trainings are used by many Fortune 500 Companies and the 30-60 minute modules include instruction about software like Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe, and QuickBooks. There are also courses on managerial tools like analytical skills, data management and reporting, leadership, time management, and health and safety.
There are also 700 specialized industry specific courses on content like customer service, green energy, and electrical. If you already have a WorkInTexas account or a MyTxCareer account (which you should if you’re collecting Texas Unemployment), just log in, head to the directory of services, and click on Education Services and then Online Learning Resources.
If you’re having trouble logging on you can email Metrix for support via [email protected] or call 518-462-1780, Monday through Friday, any time between 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
There is also a toll free number: 1-844-691-1780.
These courses are a great way to meet your job search requirements (which vary by county). They also help you level up your skills so your next job is even better—and better paying—than the jobs you had before becoming unemployed.
Texas Career Check
Wondering where exactly you should go from here? Texas Career Check may be able to help with higher education goals. Sometimes, losing a job can make a person rethink their life and their career goals. This may be an opportunity to discover a career path that fits you better than the one you were on, rather than just bouncing to another job.
Although you do need to put in honest effort toward a work search, and take work that pays at least 90% of your previous salary (75% after 8 weeks of collecting unemployment), you don’t have to take anything that truly isn’t a great fit for your skill set or compromises your morals. That’s where Texas Career Check comes into play. It’s a quick, 10 minute survey with 60 questions that will help you discover some careers that might be more appealing to you.
Texas Skills to Work
Texas Skills to Work is a free online tool that will allow you to upload your resume and find job opportunities. Sometimes, thinking about what you’d like to do just isn’t enough. If you still have some confusion about where to go from here, why not let your resume do the talking?
You can also just list your existing skills, knowledge, and vocational training. The AI behind the scenes of Texas Skills to Work will analyze these words and furnish you with a list of jobs that align with what you already know and what you’ve experienced. It can also make recommendations about related career fields that are similar enough to your current expertise.
Training No Longer Available
Texas Work Prep Learning Management System (LMS) has officially been retired by the TWC and is no longer available. The program was designed and hosted by the Texas Workforce Commission. It was built to manage the delivery of job search content and resources and to facilitate “anytime, anywhere” access to learning more about getting, and keeping, the job of your choice. Texas Work Prep contained three on-line courses namely Texas Job Hunter’s Guide Course, Succeed at Work Course and Your Next Job Course, each designed to communicate unique aspects of successful job hunting and excelling on the job. The prime goal of LMS was to help job seekers master an effective job search process, get each back to work quicker and communicate the attributes of work excellence expected by Texas employers.