As unemployment numbers drop, Alabama increases requirements for job-seekers getting benefits
Just days before Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced that our unemployment numbers were decreasing, she signed into law a new bill making it harder for those who are out of work to keep their unemployment benefits.
Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said the department is elated that unemployment numbers are decreasing.
“We announced that the state’s unemployment rate tied the state low at 2.9%, which is really good news for everybody,” Washington said. “Our civilian labor force has increased, our job count has increased, and the number of people that we report is unemployed decreased, which resulted into unemployment rates dropping.”
Senate Bill 224 increases job-searching requirements for those who are receiving unemployment benefits, upping the amount of jobs unemployed residents must apply for each week for to keep their benefits from one to three.
“We know there are a lot of jobs out there,” Washington said. “There’s almost two jobs for every person we report as unemployed. If someone’s looking for the opportunity, right now is the best time for them to get back into the work force.
The Alabama Department of Labor monitors job searches and applications, and residents receiving unemployment benefits must meet strict requirements to keep getting benefits.
“There are jobs out there,” Washington said. “All you have to do is ride around the state of Alabama, there are now hiring signs all over the place. If there is someone that is looking for work again now is the time to get them back into the work force. This is a job seekers market right now and there is plenty of opportunity out there for anybody with any different skill set.”
Washington said the requirements change shouldn’t be a hindrance to anyone searching for a job, and many people who are unemployed exceed the requirements already.