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Frist time unemployment benefits seekers must now apply online


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Starting in three weeks, new applicants for Wisconsin's unemployment benefits will have to go online to sign up.  

John Fandrich, the deputy secretary of the state Department of Workforce Development, says it will be a lot easier to match the unemployed with jobs for which they're eligible. 

Once applicants log on, they'll be asked a series of questions that will help them build resumes -- and potential employers will have access to those documents.  

The new state budget requires those getting jobless benefits to apply for four jobs a week, instead of the previous two. 

Fandrich said the federal government has been requiring online registration for jobless benefits since about the mid-1990's. 

He tells Wisconsin Public Radio the state the first wanted to make sure it had the correct technology in place -- and that the staff was trained to the point where it would be a "seamless" process. 

He said Wisconsin has not been penalized for failing to go online in previous years.