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Changes to Claiming WI Unemployment Insurance, Part 1

Wednesday, June 2, 2021


Guest post by Mark Jochem

The Wisconsin unemployment insurance (UI) work search waiver, started May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, removed the need for UI claimants to actively search for work. The waiver meant that people could avert financial disaster while staying safe.

Beginning May 23rd, that work search waiver disappeared. Wisconsinites filing for unemployment insurance benefits (with certain exceptions) must now complete and document four work search activities per week. More information about the types of work search activities that are allowable, and specifically how libraries can help their patrons with the UI claims, will be provided in tomorrow’s Wisconsin Libraries for Everyone blog.

In the meantime, there are many resources available to patrons and library staff alike throughout the state. Here are several from the Wisconsin’s regional library systems:

Arrowhead Library System: Visitors can find tips and helpful examples of resumes, cover letters, references, and thank you notes. Patrons and community members of Arrowhead Library System, can also connect with their job seeker support at their local libraries and access databases and websites for learning.

Bridges Library System: Job seekers in Waukesha and Jefferson can access the many career and training oriented databases subscribed by the system. Additional statewide resources are included for easy access.

IFLS Library System: IFLS’ Free Job Seeker Resources connects visitors to computer and technology training, job search engines, state and local job programs, career readiness resources, and more. Visitors within the IFLS service area and outside can find assistance when they need it.

South Central Library System: A comprehensive set of resources which can assist visitors throughout their job process. The Resources for Job Seekers webpage is available to help with a variety of needs including: the job search and application process; filing for unemployment; finding local SCLS county resources; addressing barriers to employment; accessing education and training; and finding services and support. All information and resources are available on the open-web.

Winding Rivers Library System: Find resources to help community members and small businesses cope financially with the impact of the pandemic. Job seekers and other visitors to the webpage can find resources to help get started on the computer, start to apply for jobs, apply for unemployment insurance, access state workforce development resources, and more.

Winnefox Library System: Residents and patrons of Winnefox Library System member libraries can access a wealth of resources in the five county system and available statewide. The webpage covers a variety of topics of interest for job seekers including: applying for work, interviewing, local hiring events, and video resources.

Wisconsin Valley Library Service: Wisconsin Valley Library Services’ Workforce Development Resources webpage provides access to helpful resources for computer skills, job search tools (including a career exploration resource), application resources, and links to local job centers. Patrons of Wisconsin Valley Library Service member libraries can also access a variety of education and training courses through Gale Courses.

If you don't see your system represented above, no worries. DPI’s Job Seeker Collection has everything you need, including specifics for your county.

Library staff looking to learn more about how they can help job seekers AND partner with the workforce development system in Wisconsin should check out the Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills (LAWDS) Project. The LAWDS Project is a 3-year initiative to help library staff become more knowledgeable about workforce development and foster connections with state and local workforce development professionals. This project is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

-Mark Jochem, Workforce Development & Lifelong Learning Specialist, South Central Library System,

Posted by Cindy Fesemyer



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