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Unemployment Claims Tie Up Phone Lines

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jan 29, 2009 11:05PM

We knew unemployment was skyrocketing, especially after the huge round of layoffs on Monday, but now the numbers are catching up with state's Department of Employment Security. As the state's unemployment rate has reached an almost 16-year high, the volume of people contacting the department is causing problems for the department's phone system. On Monday, 64,520 people managed to get through and on Tuesday, 57,014 were able to get through. However, with the equivalent of only 648 phone lines available, many received busy signals instead. With the rate of claimants not expected to drop any time soon, the department plans to add another 216 lines by next month to help the system avoid overloads.