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Unemployment benefits get harder to get

The agency that oversees the state’s unemployment insurance program said that recipients of unemployment benefits will soon need to start showing that they are applying for jobs on a weekly basis.

The Virginia Employment Commission also has temporarily suspended its online application system for new unemployment benefit claims while the agency investigates fraud cases. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam had suspended the job search requirement last year when the COVID-19 pandemic closed businesses across the state and put hundreds of thousands of people out of work.

Now, employers are looking to hire people again but having trouble finding them, VEC spokesperson Joyce Fogg said. About 475,000 jobs are now being advertised on the state’s job system, she said.