Trying to figure out if I should work part time while receiving unemployment benefits.

Trying to figure out if I should work part time while receiving unemployment benefits.

I got laid off my job in May. I'd been working there almost ten years and was earning $14 an hour full-time. I've been looking for a similar job, as I don't have much experience doing anything else, but I'm not holding out a lot of hope I'll find something soon. I think there are too many people competing for too few jobs. I'm getting unemployment benefits from the state (Minnesota), which are 60% of my previous income, which is enough to cover my share of the mortgage and some but not all of the bills. Also my parents are helping me out with some money, mostly to cover the health insurance we (my husband, stepdaughter and I) need to pay more for now that we can't get it through my work - my husband's job has health insurance but it doesn't pay anything for dependents, just lets them on the plan. We're getting by but I'm worried. I've been thinking about taking part-time, less-skilled, lower pay work while continuing to look for a better job. A friend of mine works as a food delivery driver for $7 an hour plus some tips. Her boss is interested in hiring me part-time (about 20 hours/week) to do the same thing. If I work less than 32 hours a week, earn less than my benefit amount, and keep looking for work, I can still get some unemployment benefits, though they will be reduced $55 for every $100 I earn. I'm concerned that with the lower pay and the reduction in unemployment benefits, the part-time work won't really be worth my time. It will add to the money coming in, but I'll in effect be working for 55% of the already-lower hourly rate. Maybe my time is better spent taking care of the house and my family, taking the time to use poor skills to stretch the money we do have, learning new things, and putting time into the job search. I've been putting time into cooking cheap meals and landscaping the yard and am about to try to teach myself web design from library books. When my friend told her boss about my dilemma, he said he could hire me "off the books". So that's an option, as is underreporting my tips if I get good tips, but I'm wary of doing something illegal that could get me in trouble. So that's probably not a good option. So I'm asking you poor_skillers, having read about my situation, what do you think are the best ways (aside from the job searching) to use my time while I'm unemployed?
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