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Wisconsin Unemployment Job Search Requirements

Wisconsin Unemployment Benefits

The Wisconsin unemployment benefits program requires claimants to actively search for a new job. This means that every week you claim unemployment benefits, regardless of whether you already work part-time or attend school, you are expected to actively seek full-time employment.

The state of Wisconsin requires you to perform at least four work search actions per week to remain eligible for UI benefits. This will require you to document your activity on a work search log and submit the information with your weekly claim.

Your work search action log should contain the following information:

  • Date of action
  • Work search action
  • Business/employer name
  • Name and title of person contacted
  • Method of contact
  • Contact information (address, phone number, email, website)
  • Result of contact

The state of Wisconsin will verify your work search activities. You are required to keep your work search log for one year in case of an audit. Failure to provide your work search activities may result in a denial of unemployment insurance benefits.

What is considered a work search activity?

A work search activity is any step you take to find new employment. Examples of acceptable work search activity in Wisconsin include:

  • Job Center of Wisconsin registration
  • Participating in mandatory reemployment services
  • Submitting a resume or application to an employer that has openings
  • Applying for a civil service (government) job
  • Participating in voluntary Job Center of Wisconsin training
  • Registering with a temp agency or recruiter
  • Uploading your resume to an employment website, like
  • Meeting with a career counselor
  • Participating in a job interview
  • Attending a professional networking event
  • Creating a profile on a professional networking website, like LinkedIn
  • Using online career tools

Invalid work search activity

Not all work search activities will count toward the four required actions. The following is a list of activities that cannot be included in your work search log:

  • Viewing job postings but not applying
  • Contacting an employer with no openings
  • Submitting an application to the same employer multiple times within a four-week period
  • Reposting the same resume to a job website you’ve already posted on before
  • Applying for work that is outside your training and experience

Work registration

Unless you’re exempt from the work search requirement, the state of Wisconsin also requires you to register for work with the Job Center of Wisconsin within 14 days of applying for unemployment benefits.

You can easily complete this requirement by visiting Please note that completing your work registration will require you to upload a resume.

If you don’t have access to the internet, you can also register for work by visiting your local Job Center of Wisconsin location.

If you reside outside of the state, you may need to visit the public employment office closest to your home to complete the registration process. Afterward, you must provide evidence of your registration to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Proof can be in the form of a screenshot or printed copy of your work registration from the other state.

Do I have to accept any job?

While receiving UI benefits in Wisconsin, individuals are expected to accept suitable work opportunities. The state’s unemployment insurance program emphasizes the importance of actively seeking and accepting employment that aligns with the claimant’s skills, qualifications, and previous work experience. Accepting suitable work means considering factors such as the nature of the job, the wage level, the individual’s work history, and their physical and mental capabilities.

Wisconsin Unemployment Job Training Programs

Dislocated Worker Program

Wisconsin’s Dislocated Worker Program is a specialized initiative designed to provide assistance and support to people who have been laid off or are at risk of being laid off due to circumstances beyond their control. The program aims to help dislocated workers navigate the challenges of job loss by offering a range of services and resources. These services may include career counseling, skills assessment, job training, job search assistance, and access to reemployment programs.

Fidelity Bonding Program

Wisconsin’s Fidelity Bonding Program is an initiative aimed at promoting employment opportunities for those who face barriers to obtaining or retaining a job due to past criminal convictions or other challenging circumstances. The program offers fidelity bonds, which are insurance policies that provide coverage for employers against losses caused by employee dishonesty or theft. By providing these bonds, the program helps alleviate concerns employers may have about hiring individuals with certain backgrounds, allowing them to consider a wider range of applicants.

Job Center of Wisconsin job database

The Job Center of Wisconsin job database is a valuable resource that connects job seekers with employment opportunities throughout the state. It serves as a centralized platform where employers can post job listings, and individuals can search for relevant positions based on their skills, experience, and interests. The database provides a wide range of job categories and industries, allowing users to explore various career paths.

Job seekers can create personalized profiles, upload resumes, and apply for positions directly through the platform. The Job Center of Wisconsin job database also offers additional features such as career assessments, training resources, and job search tips to assist individuals in their job search journey.

Job Center of Wisconsin workshops and events

Job Center of Wisconsin also organizes a variety of workshops and events aimed at supporting job seekers in their career development and job search efforts. These workshops cover a wide range of topics designed to enhance job readiness and employability skills. They may include resume writing and interview preparation, job search strategies, networking techniques, and professional development tips. The workshops are often facilitated by experienced career counselors or industry experts, who provide valuable insights and guidance.

In addition to workshops, the Job Center of Wisconsin hosts job fairs and recruitment events where job seekers can directly connect with employers and explore employment opportunities. These events provide a platform for networking, showcasing skills, and potentially securing employment.

Interview Prep

Wisconsin’s Interview Prep program is designed to help job seekers enhance their interview skills and increase their chances of success in job interviews. The program offers valuable resources and support to individuals who want to improve their interview techniques and present themselves effectively to potential employers.

Participants in the Interview Prep program have access to various resources, including mock interview sessions, interview tips and strategies, guidance on answering common interview questions, and techniques for showcasing their strengths and qualifications. The program aims to build confidence, improve communication skills, and provide job seekers with the tools they need to make a positive impression during interviews.

Older Worker

Wisconsin’s Older Worker program is specifically designed to assist individuals who are 55 years of age or older in finding employment opportunities. The program recognizes the unique challenges faced by older job seekers and aims to provide them with specialized services and support.

Through the Older Worker program, participants can access a range of resources, including job search assistance, skills training, and career counseling tailored to their specific needs. The program also connects older workers with employers who value their experience and expertise, promoting age-friendly workplaces and fostering inclusive hiring practices.

Rapid Response Program

Wisconsin’s Rapid Response Program is a proactive initiative aimed at assisting workers and employers during times of company closures, mass layoffs, or significant workforce reductions. The program provides timely support and resources to affected workers to help them transition into new employment opportunities.

Rapid Response teams, consisting of trained professionals, collaborate with employers to assess the impact of workforce changes and develop customized assistance plans. These plans may include on-site job fairs, skills assessments, career counseling, and information about unemployment benefits and retraining programs.

TapDance Live!

TapDance Live! is a computer program that you can use to test people’s skills in different areas like typing, math, grammar, spelling, data entry, using a numeric keypad, word processing, and making spreadsheets. The Job Center of Wisconsin offers this online software, allowing job seekers to assess their skills based on the needs of local employers.

Veteran Services

Wisconsin offers a range of veteran services to support job seekers who have served in the military. These services are designed to assist veterans in their transition to civilian employment and provide them with the necessary resources to find meaningful work.

The Veteran Services program offers job placement assistance, career counseling, skills assessment, and training opportunities tailored to veterans’ unique needs and experiences. Additionally, veterans can access job search workshops, resume writing assistance, and interview preparation to enhance their job-seeking skills.

The program also collaborates with employers to promote the hiring of veterans and educate them about the valuable skills and attributes veterans bring to the workforce.

Wisconsin Apprenticeship

Wisconsin Apprenticeship is a program that provides individuals with valuable opportunities to gain hands-on training and practical experience in various industries. Through apprenticeship, participants can acquire the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in high-demand occupations while earning a wage. The program offers a structured learning environment where apprentices work under the guidance of experienced professionals, known as mentors or journeypersons, who share their expertise and help them develop their skills.

Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of industries, including construction, healthcare, manufacturing, and information technology, among others.

Wisconsin Employment Transportation Assistance Program

The Wisconsin Employment Transportation Assistance Program is designed to help individuals overcome transportation barriers and improve their access to employment opportunities. The program provides financial assistance to eligible individuals who face challenges in commuting to work due to limited transportation options or affordability. It offers various forms of support, such as gas cards, bus passes, and transportation vouchers, to help individuals cover the costs of transportation to and from their workplace.

By addressing transportation barriers, the Employment Transportation Assistance Program aims to enhance the ability of job seekers to secure and maintain employment. Accessible and reliable transportation plays a crucial role in connecting individuals with job opportunities, enabling them to pursue meaningful careers and contribute to the workforce.

    • Nedal,

      If you’re schooling full-time that hampers your time to work a full-time job, you may not qualify. Please call the Unemployment Office for more.

  1. I am 62.5 years old. I have a lot of back/pain issues. What if someone offers me a job that requires a lot of heavy lifting, etc. Can I refuse a job because of my medical condition?

    • Leslie,

      I suggest you call the Unemployment Office to inquire if they have any relaxation basis of the claimant’s age. Generally, voluntary reasons are not accepted.

  2. I have received a job offer that will start May 21st, do I still need to do the required 4 job searches for this week even though I am starting a new job on the 21st?

    • I forgot to put my job searches in during the week and the website was shut down on Saturday I entered in my weekly certification what’s going to happen?

  3. Can you go on vacation and claim unemployment if your work search is waived and you have a date when you are scheduled to return to work in Wisconsin?

    • If the Severance payment is a lump sum, please apply immediately or apply towards the end of the payment schedule if it will be disbursed over a period of time.

  4. I have performed my job searches, called everything in, was informed everything was in order, and yet did not receive my compensation. What recourse(s) do I have and will I have to pay taxes on money promised but never delivered?

    • Well, if you applied for Unemployment Compensation and did not hear any further from the authorities, please chase the claims center on the phone numbers provided.

      If you were denied and you feel it was not justified, please ask for an Adjudicator to file an appeal.

  5. If I registered for the job center last week but did not claim it as a job search because my work search was waived, can I still post it as a work search for this week?

    • Not sure of the action you must be taking.

      Please call the Claims Center on the phone numbers provided for further information.

  6. The online work search form says “Enter a valid Email Address, and will not process my search. I am sure that the employer’s email address that I entered is correct. I tried everything: with and without www
    What am I doing wrong? The claim specialist phone line is always busy so I can’t get through by phone.

    • Wish we could help you further in this regard. It may be a temporary system glitch.

      Please try calling the claims center during off peak hours.

  7. I will definitely not be going back to my employer, but I am currently enrolled in a self-paced course so that I can become employed again. I am studying 6-8 hours a day. The institution is on the government’s list of approved schools. Do I still have to do a job search every week?

  8. When calling in for my unemployment and was received, but did not receive my unemployment can that money be re-claimed or need to be?
    I have just received a notice in the mail that my unemployment will not be paid for another 7 weeks what do I do ? Do I keep calling in? Do I keep on doing everything that is required what do I do? If the delay is from the employer who fired me (Blain’s Farm and Fleet) do I have any recourse against them? Is it their problem and/or oversight how do I get past this obstacle(s) ( there have been a few from them)?

  9. I got a seasonal job and will be returning to this employer so I picked up a part time job for the winter I work one week a month and they tell me that I need to do the job search why do I need to ddo this I was told that I did need to ass long as I had a part time job

  10. at the beginning of the year i was laid off for 2-3 months i returned to work
    for the same employer i still work for the same employer now nothing has changed i am now laid off again due to weather i will be returning to the same employer last time i was laid off i did not have to look for work why does the benefits webpage say i have to register with the wi job center and do a job search weekly

    • If its a requirement, we cannot do much.

      If you’re unhappy with any of the conditions, please call the claims center for further advice.

  11. I am laid off for 2 months during our slow period at a hotel in WI. I will definitely be returning to work in February, do I still have to be looking for 4 jobs every week??

  12. i am working temporarily on call all year long when not working I don’t look for work and I m still calling n unemployment every week but have been making to much to collect. m I still eligible.

  13. I am attending a technical college in a few weeks. Will I still need to look and report job searches weekly once I start?

    • You will not receive benefits if you’re not actively looking for jobs.

      Please notify the labor authorities in your state immediately to avoid penalty.

  14. If I quit a job 7 months ago for a better income full time job with benefits, and now that company reduced my hours per week. Am I eligible for UI benefits?

    • Chris,

      I do not understand how you can quit and work in the same company for reduced hours. Please provide more details.

  15. If I was fired due to attendance while I was out on Bereavement leave, will I still be considered for unemployment benefits?

    • If you lost the job due to no fault of your own,you can qualify.

      You should be able to justify in case of a dispute.

  16. If I am seeking full time work and a temp place wants to meet with me about possible employment will it be considered an offer of work and would I lose my benefits.

    • You may not really loose the benefits but there will an effect.

      Please check with the labor dept in your state.

      • I was fired for attendance because I was unable to go to work because of lack of childcare. Can I still receive unemployment while looking for a new job?

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

  17. If I am laid off due to a seasonal business closing and will be returning to work for the same employer, can I go on vacation while claiming unemployment in Wisconsin?

    • Seasonal workers are usually not entitled to unemployment compensation due to the nature of work.Please call the customer service of the labor department in your state to check if there are any other benefits available.

  18. In order to remain qualified for unemployment benefits, how far does one have to travel to work for a minimum wage job through a temporary agency before declining?

  19. If I am offered a part time job (3 hours a day a $8 per hour) and don’t accept it will I lose my unemployment?

    • I work a seasonal job for a non profit federally funded program. I have been doing this for 30+ years and have never had an issue collecting unemployment. I am layed off anywhere from 11-14 weeks depending on the state funding we receive. The new rules for doing a work search are a waste of time for myself, the employers who are looking for permanent employees and the state workers in the unemployment offices. Why can’t it be if you have a return to work date that your work search be waived?

      • Well, you can perhaps speak to the Unemployment Office in your state or visit them for further details.

        Please note this is a private forum.

  20. I want to know how to do these jobs claim to continue to get my benefits,i never receive re,ceive any forms for job claims,, I don’t understand what you guys want me to do, iam using my mother computer

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