People new to unemployment benefits during the novel coronavirus pandemic will soon face a requirement that has been waived in the past several months: weekly job searches.

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions on Oct. 25 will reinstate the requirement that unemployment claimants document job searches each week.

Workforce Solutions suspended the requirement in March because of large-scale business closures due to the state's COVID-19 public health order, which drastically reduced the job market.

Claimants receiving regular unemployment benefits will have to document at least two work search activities per week as of Oct. 18. Verifiable searches must be reported during the weekly certification process starting Oct. 25.

The work search requirement also can be met by attending a workshop offered by New Mexico Workforce Connection centers across the state.

New Mexico has about 82,000 people collecting regular unemployment benefits, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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