Politics
Feds to unemployed: Get busy in job search

Credits: REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

DANIEL PROUSSALIDIS | QMI AGENCY

OTTAWA -- The unemployed will either get a hand finding work or a kick in the pants to get moving in their job search thanks to Employment Insurance (EI) changes now in effect.

Among the changes that took effect Sunday is a new Job Alerts system that sends e-mails to subscribers twice a day about jobs that match their skills.

"The new Job Alerts system is an important part of our government's plan to better connect Canadians with available jobs in their area," Human Resources Minister Diane Finley said in a statement.

Officials say the new system is easier to use than the system it replaced.

It will also highlight alternative job vacancies in fields related to a job-seeker's preferred type of work.

For EI claimants who are less motivated to seek work, the new system also specifies that a "reasonable job search" includes networking, meeting with potential employers, and preparing resumes or cover letters.

Anyone getting EI benefits risks losing those payments if they don't keep track of their job search and provide those records to bureaucrats who check up on them.

The new system also puts the screws to those who've used EI at least three times for a total of 60 weeks in five years.

Such "frequent users" will get six weeks to look for work in their field.

After that, they'll have to take a job even if it pays at least 70% of their last salary.

Federal officials estimate the new system will save taxpayers $33 million over the next year.

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