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People on unemployment will need to show they’re job hunting

April 22, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Starting next month, New Hampshire is once again requiring that people receiving unemployment benefits be looking for work.

“Traditionally, you had to prove that you were searching for gainful employment while collecting unemployment benefits,” Gov. Chris Sununu said at a news conference Thursday. That was waived last year during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since, the economy has rebounded and New Hampshire has one of the lowest unemployment rates, at 3%. Starting May 23, residents are being required to look for work while on unemployment benefits. It doesn’t mean that if a person can’t find work, they will lose their benefits, Sununu said.

“There are tens of thousands of high-paying jobs across the state available today,” he said. “It’s just an awesome opportunity.” He said in one recent virtual job fair, there were over 100 employers offering more than 3,000 jobs, but only about 140 job seekers showed up.

Sununu said jobs need to be filled, especially in tourism-related areas, restaurants, hotels, and tech and manufacturing.

New Hampshire Works job centers will be opening to the public by May 10 to assist people. Job fairs are scheduled May 6 for veterans, May 11 for students, graduates and individuals using adult education programs, and May 13 for people in the construction industry.

In other coronavirus-related developments:

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PRISON OUTBREAK

A COVID-19 outbreak has affected more than 100 people at the federal prison in Berlin, health officials said Thursday.

Nearly all of the cases involve inmates; four staff members have been infected.

“We don’t have any real interaction with that facility,” Sununu said. “We don’t provide the vaccine; we don’t provide the testing. The federal government was supposed to take care of all of that.”

New Hampshire has oversight of outbreaks at state prisons and correctional centers. An outbreak was recently closed at the Rockingham County House of Corrections.

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MOUNT WASHINGTON RACE

A timed hillclimb auto race up the Mount Washington Auto Road in New Hampshire is making a return this year.

The event, known as the “Climb to the Clouds,” has been rescheduled to Aug. 13-15, from July. It was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 7.6 -mile climb (12.2 kilometers) heads along a serpentine tarmac and gravel road lined with trees, rocks, and dramatic drop-offs, to the 6,288-foot (1.9 kilometers) summit.

The climb was first held in 1904, making it one of the oldest motorsport competitions in the United States.

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THE NUMBERS

Nearly 93,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, including 515 cases announced Thursday. That includes the cases at the federal prison. One new death was reported, for a total of 1,274.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire decreased over the past two weeks, going from 394 new cases per day on April 6 to 345 new cases per day on Tuesday.