The New York State Department of Labor is reminding those collecting unemployment benefits that they need to be actively participating in 'work search activities.'

On it's twitter account, the Labor Department reminded New Yorkers of the requirement, explaining what is considered 'work search activities.' Among them, filling out and turning in job applications, attending networking seminars, and interviewing for open positions. Those receiving unemployment benefits '...must do at least three work search activities each week':

That peak is part of the reason some have been allowed to stay unemployed and not lose those their benefits, despite not actively seeking work, as required by the Labor Department, according to an article at

While New York did not waive the requirements, they were largely a technicality for the past year when businesses shut down and unemployment hit record highs. At one point, 1.4 million people were out of work. The state could barely process claims, much less check requirements that are rarely enforced in more prosperous times.

The latest data for the Mohawk Valley available on the NYS Department of Labor Statistics website shows the Utica-Rome Metro Area (MSA) with an unemployment rate of 6.0%. That's down from 7.0% in March of this year, and well down from 16.3% in April of 2020.

From April of last year through April 2021, the nonfarm job county jumped 12% (by 12,700) to over 118,000. Jobs considered Private Sector Employment rose 15% (by 11,500) to nearly 89,000.

Via the NYS Department of Labor:

...leisure and hospitality (+3,900), trade, transportation and utilities (+3,200), government (+1,200), manufacturing (+1,000), professional and business services (+1,000), natural resources, mining and construction (+900), education and health services (+700), other services (+700), and financial activities (+200). Information (-100) was the only industry with over-the-year job losses.

The Department of Labor is set to host a virtual job fair for the Mohawk Valley Region next week, June 22 and 23. To register, visit their website.

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