(CALMATTERS) – Starting July 11, Californians will need to begin looking for work in order to keep receiving unemployment benefits, the Employment Development Department announced Thursday. The reinstated work search requirement — which was temporarily suspended amid the pandemic — comes as thousands of open jobs remain unfilled despite a high unemployment rate. It also comes amid an uptick in new jobless claims, even as California throws open its economy. Nearly 69,000 Californians filed new claims for the week ending June 12, up nearly 16,000 from the week before, according to federal data released Thursday. EDD’s backlog of unresolved claims also spiked to nearly 223,000, statistics released Thursday show.

Speaking of unemployment, California last year clawed a record $430 million from parents who owe thousands of dollars in child support debt — and most of the money was taken from federal stimulus checks and jobless benefits, the Salinas Californian’s Kate Cimini reports in the second installment of CalMatters’ “Intercepted” series. That’s a 16% increase from the amount California collected in 2019, a statistic that becomes even more mind-boggling when one takes into account that no other state in America keeps a higher percentage of child support payments for itself — and only one state charges a higher interest rate when parents don’t pay on time.