January 7, 2009

It takes me about two hours to get through when I have to file my claim in NJ. It seems to be this bad everywhere:

New Mexico's unemployment claims operation isn't the only state entity having difficulties reacting to the growing number of claims applicants. New York's state systems for filing unemployment insurance claims crashed today, yet another sign of how that state (and others) is sinking deeper into a recession.

The N.Y. Department of Labor, which oversees unemployment insurance claims, received more than 10,000 phone calls an hour on a toll-free hotline on Tuesday, leading to the crash. The department’s online claim filing system also shut down under the volume of traffic it received.

The New Mexico Dept. of Workforce Solutions said it added 15 more workers and two more phone lines to its call center in December, in response to the high volume of incoming calls.

The New York crashes came as that state's unemployment rate hit 6. 1 percent, up 1.5 percent from the year before. It’s the highest unemployment rate in nearly five years. In New Mexico, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in November, unchanged from the revised October rate but up from 3.3 percent a year ago.

By the way, Republican claims to the contrary, FDR's New Deal actually led to the largest drop in the unemployment rate in U.S. history.

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