Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Michigan's Unemployment line gives people the busy signal


Unemployment phone calls going unanswered
January 6, 2009 - 8:04 AM

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The unemployment lines continue to grow in Michigan as more families look for help.

Michigan's unemployment rate stands at 9.6 percent, meaning hundreds of thousands of people need jobs and help with bills until they find one.

But, as they make the call to get unemployment benefits they're finding another road block. There is often no one on the other end of the line when they call.

Imagine how frustrating it is; you're unemployed, you have a family, you call and call but no one picks up the phone.

We visited a call center to ask why. The director there told us that last year they answered two million calls. Just last month more than six million calls came in.

She blames the high volume. There are too many people looking for help and not enough phone lines or operators.

To ease the crunch, call centers statewide are looking to hire between 60 and 75 operators. But, that won't happen overnight.

"I guess it makes us more frustrated because we do want to be able to get the work done for our customers and hopefully cause the calls to decrease in volume versus increase," said Call Center Director Sharon Moffet-Massey.

Massey says to be patient. If you can't get through to an operator try applying for unemployment online. It's faster and is available from 7:00 a.m. Monday through 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Read more about other states' unemployment systems going down/being busy here:
New York

Read all of my Michigan related posts here.

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