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.
Federally-assisted unemployment benefits, an extra $300 a week, are set to expire on Sept. 6 and many experts aren’t sure that the end in boosted pay will get people back to work.
Despite the labor-market improvement, many domestic employees, one in three of whom are immigrants and many are also undocumented, are still without work or working less hours than pre-pandemic.
The Unemployment Insurance Agency asked nearly 650,000 jobless aid recipients to resubmit their qualifications due to a system error. While some are being waived, other residents are being asked to pay back their unemployment benefits.
The state’s unemployment debt amounts to more than 43 percent of all that is owed to the federal government. As much as $11 billion of the state’s unemployment payments were fraudulent.
Gov. John Bel Edwards agreed to a July 31 cutoff for the federally assisted unemployment benefits before the pandemic surged among the unvaccinated. Now the state’s economy is again closing, this time without financial help.
The autonomous vehicle company Argo AI, along with Ford and Lyft, announced that 1,000 self-driving ride-hail cars would arrive in Miami this winter, worrying many Lyft and Uber drivers about their job security.
The state continues to struggle against unemployment benefits fraud as hackers’ methods evolve. State officials are calling for an audit to determine how to better protect the system.
In the early weeks of the pandemic, a software error, lowered security protocols and pressure to pay jobless residents quickly resulted in payments for thousands of fraudulent unemployment claims.