PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — R.I. Department of Labor and Training (DLT) Director Matt Weldon said Rhode Islanders are getting back to work.
Gov. Dan McKee signed legislation last week that allows people to continue to collect both regular and pandemic unemployment benefits while working part-time.
“This would allow people to go back to work and stay connected to the unemployment system, while they get back into the economy,” Weldon said during his bi-monthly interview on 12 News Now at 4. “We think it’s going to show some good results in the weeks to come.”
Watch the full interview in the video above.
The bill went into affect on Sunday, the same day the DLT reinstated the requirement that residents on unemployment must be actively seeking work to get their benefits.
“We had suspended that requirement during the pandemic for good reason, there just weren’t jobs to go to when the government had to shut down significant segments of the academy and because of the health and safety concerns that we were dealing with at the time,” Weldon explained.
Weldon said those collecting both regular and pandemic unemployment will now need to prove they’ve been looking for at least three jobs per week.
“If we do call and ask for it, they will need to provide that proof, before we can move forward with that claim,” he said.
Weldon said the fact that Rhode Island lifted nearly all of its restrictions on businesses last Friday will also significantly help.
“I think that month over month we are going to start to see better reports, I think people are going to head back to the jobs as they become available, the work search requirement is sure going to help and as is that UI partial earnings bill,” Weldon said.
Weldon encouraged anyone looking for work to visit BacktoWorkRI.com for job and training opportunities.