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Unemployment

The Department of Job and Family Services hired five companies to contract call center workers to better handle the mass of pandemic-related unemployment claims. Some call center workers were initially paid $59 an hour.
Labor data suggests that Gov. Mike DeWine’s decision to cut the extra $300 of federal funds from unemployment benefits 10 weeks ahead of the federal deadline had little effect on moving people back into the workforce.
California’s official unemployment rate is 7.5 percent. But a newer method of measuring unemployment reveals a far larger portion of the state is struggling to find full-time employment that pays enough to cover the cost of living.
The Department of Workforce Development has adjusted training and workload, but high demand has led to turnover among judges, significantly delaying the unemployment claims process.
An audit found that between July 2020 and June 2021, 3.3 percent of unemployment payments went to scammers, an increase of 2 percent from previous years, and nonfraud overpayments rose by 20.9 percent.
Workers across the state quit their job nearly 120,000 times in August, up 30,000 from the same time last year. Nationally, American workers have quit 20 million jobs between April and August.
As Washington state’s vaccine mandate began this week, officials warned workers who quit or are fired over the governor’s vaccine mandate shouldn’t expect to receive unemployment aid. But there are many exceptions.
The state Department of Transportation is looking to hire 500 seasonal plow drivers ahead of winter, but is struggling to find workers. Without enough drivers, clearing roads of snow could take much longer than in prior years.
The state received a warning from the federal government in May 2020 to avoid overly lenient qualifications for pandemic unemployment assistance. The state didn’t update its requirements until June 2021.
19 state workers participated in a scheme to fraudulently collect unemployment benefit payments while still holding full-time jobs. Only one was fired, eight were briefly suspended and none were prosecuted.
As companies across the nation struggle to fill open positions, many employers are turning to the approximately 20 million Americans who have past felony convictions. Some experts believe this could create a lasting impact.
Thousands of Arizonans fell victim to identity theft during the pandemic and had their relied-upon jobless payments denied or delayed. Now the state will modernize and upgrade the system’s security to prevent future fraud.
While private employers add workers, multiple factors hold back return of public noneducation jobs.
Thousands of Connecticut residents were overpaid in unemployment insurance, meaning they now owe millions. But some lawmakers want the state to waive repayment and reimburse the unemployment fund.
The four firms that are competing to earn a multimillion-dollar contract to modernize the state’s unemployment system have each experienced problems while working on other states’ unemployment or IT projects.
The state’s Department of Job and Family Services has predicted that it will take until early December to issue a ruling on the massive backlog of unprocessed unemployment benefits appeals.