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Holcomb restores jobless benefit requirement, alcohol sales rules, more

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An executive order issued Tuesday calls for the reinstatement of rules for Hoosiers seeking unemployment benefits.

Gov. Eric Holcomb’s order also changed several other measures instituted during the coronavirus pandemic.

Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced March 24, 2020, that any Hoosiers out of work, including temporary layoffs, were eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. That change eliminated several requirements, including one that required recipients of jobless benefits to be actively seeking employment.

The executive order says people seeking jobless benefits starting June 1 must be:

  • Actively seeking full-time work.
  • Able and available for full-time work.
  • Participating in job counseling services when required.
  • Establishing good cause for any separation from employment.
  • Filing timely claims for unemployment benefits.

In addition, Workforce Development on June 1 will once again start charging employers for their layoffs rather than charging from a pooled fund.

The Republican governor said in a statement last week that he has “asked the Department of Workforce Development to complete a demographic analysis of unemployed Hoosiers over the past 16 months so I have the best information available to make an informed decision about whether the state should continue to participate in federal pandemic unemployment programs. Part of that analysis is to compare our workforce now versus before the start of the pandemic. Our unemployment rate stands at 3.9 percent, which is near pre-pandemic levels, and our labor force mirrors pre-pandemic levels, when we also had worker shortages. We must concentrate on building the right pathways to match people with the skill sets employers need and to attract more people to join our workforce.”

Workforce Development has received widespread complaints from Hoosiers seeking jobless benefits during the coronavirus pandemic, with some people waiting for months for responses from the department and others giving up entirely on trying to get responses from the state.

Workforce Development told News 8 in February that 23% of the benefit claimants who have attempted to verify their identities have been flagged as suspected fraud cases. The bureaucratic tape has slowed down the process for many Hoosiers to seek jobless benefits.

More coverage

Changes to alcohol sales

The governor’s order also rescinded several directives issues relating to alcohol beverage permits and rules:

  • The ability of retail restaurants to fill growlers and sell alcohol beverages for carryout will end June 30.
  • The requirement for at least 60% of alcohol to be sold for on-site consumption will be reinstated June 30.
  • In-person permit hearings will resume June 30.

Other orders

The governor also ordered:

  • Previous orders on virtual meetings of governing bodies were rescinded. A new law, however, permits 100% virtual meetings and provided guidelines for how those must be done.
  • Extended time frames for the handling of public records will end June 1.
  • For-profit and nonprofit corporations will no longer be allowed to have annual meetings virtually after June 30.
  • Several rules instituted during the pandemic for veterans assistance, telehealth, pharmacies, home health agencies, collaborative care for for older youths, standby guardian designations, and the sharing of health data will be rescinded when new state laws addressing the matters take effect.


“The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on why a living wage is necessary in order for Hoosier families to have a shot at a better future in Indiana. So while Governor Holcomb is guiding Hoosiers back to a pre-pandemic normalcy, we cannot ignore the reality that it’s time for Indiana to increase its minimum wage and provide better opportunities for our workers. Over 892,000 Hoosiers currently earn a minimum wage job, and while it’s a goal for every worker to achieve their highest potential, we must do everything possible to create a bridge to help all Hoosiers succeed.”

Lauren Ganapini, executive director for the Indiana Democratic Party

News release

“INDIANAPOLIS (May 11, 2021) – On May 11, Gov. Eric Holcomb reinstated work-search activities requiring that unemployment insurance claimants actively seek employment and be available for work. To be eligible for unemployment benefits, claimants must attempt to secure full-time work in each week they claim benefits. That requirement was suspended during the pandemic.

“More information about the weekly work searches can be found at:

“With recent changes to the state’s unemployment insurance program, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development is reminding Hoosiers of the many resources available to assist with training and employment opportunities.

“Based on the most recent data, Indiana employers have posted more than 115,000 job openings around the state.

“Below are state resources to help Hoosiers gain more skills and find the career of their choice.   

Workforce Ready Grant: Pays the tuition and fees for eligible high-value certificate programs at Ivy Tech Community College, Vincennes University, Indiana Institute of Technology, or other approved providers.

Indiana Career Connect: Provides workforce services and tools to help employers connect with job-ready talent.

Hoosier Talent Network: Job-matching and career-planning site powered by artificial intelligence to help Hoosiers find the right job and uncover new opportunities.

180 Skills: Delivers high-quality, online, technical, employability, and compliance manufacturing skills training aligned with the needs of employers.

InDemand Jobs: Focuses on high-demand, high-wage jobs for today and tomorrow. The demand indicator used is based on a methodology that ranks all Indiana jobs based on future growth and wages.

Hoosiers by the Numbers: Premier source for labor market information for Indiana.

“Also, Hoosiers can visit their local WorkOne center to learn about reemployment services. WorkOne locations can be found here:”

Indiana Department of Workforce Development