Missouri begins work search requirement for unemployment benefits


INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Missourians will be losing that extra $600 unemployment check a little earlier than expected.

And starting this week you’ll also have to complete three job searches each week to keep those state benefits.

The change comes despite the fact all Missouri Department of Labor career centers in the metro remain closed because of the coronavirus. 

Because of a lack of available jobs and health concerns, the Missouri Department of Labor hadn’t been requiring the hundreds of thousands of Missourians who’d never filed for unemployment before to search for jobs to receive benefits.

But that changes this week. 

It’s surprising to one jobseeker with a master’s degree who said he filled out thousands of applications before finally gaining an internship last week. 

“What is it that the state is going to set up to make sure that people are doing that in the first place? And does the state have evidence that there are that many positions available,” Drew Ebert wondered.

A search of the Missouri Department of Labor and Full Employment Council’s job search pages shows there are at least some jobs available.

The job search requirement can be fulfilled by creating a resume, searching for work on jobs.mo.gov, participating in a virtual Missouri Job Center workshop, applying for a job on a website or doing a virtual job interview.

Although closed, the Full Employment Council, which operates local centers, can still help you with a lot of those tasks virtually.

Federal payments end July 31, a Friday. But since Missouri unemployment goes through Saturday, the Missouri Department of Labor confirms the last federal payment will actually be the week that ends July 25. 

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