HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) – Beginning May 29, unemployment claimants will need to start attesting they are searching for work ― a requirement that was suspended during the pandemic.

Gov. David Ige said the requirement is being reinstated because the public health crisis has eased.

Some 106,000 claimants will need to attest they are searching for work in order to continue getting unemployment benefits, officials said.

The change comes as he unemployment rate in Hawaii stands at 8.5%.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate is 6.1%.

The state is bringing back the requirement amid a national conversation about a labor shortage ― a seeming paradox with so many unemployed that reflects everything from a lack of childcare to concerns about COVID protections in the workplace to wages in entry level jobs.

Some have claimed at the federal $300 unemployment benefit that’s on top of the state’s unemployment amount is discouraging people from returning to work.

And a number of states have actually suspended that payout. But the governor on Thursday said he had no plans to do so.

This story will be updated.

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