I read with great disgust an article on NorthJersey.com of the plight of a woman in her 40’s who applied for unemployment on March 22. It is July and she still hasn’t received a penny and has burned through almost all her savings just trying to stay alive. She has repeatedly called and emailed not only the Department of Labor but also lawmakers, media and the governor’s office and still no answers.

Then I read that 48,000 people remain without unemployment checks after COVID-19 caused the executive orders that took their jobs away.

48,000.

The Labor Department will apply lipstick on the proverbial pig and brag about them finally fulfilling 96% of claims. But 48,000 is every man, woman and child in an entire medium sized city. That’s enough disaffected workers to fill every seat in the Basie more than 30 times. That’s enough to fill the Prudential Center to the rafters twice and still have thousands more.

This is pathetic.

They say these cases are all very “specialized” and they’ve had to train people just to handle them. How specialized could they be that a third of a year was not enough to figure them out?

It’s just more sad excuses from a Labor Department with a commissioner more concerned about spin than actually helping anyone. Robert Asaro-Angelo was on our show a couple times to address the massive problems the department was having in getting its act together. His more recent appearance felt more like a street brawl. Here’s the audio if you never caught it.

They knew for years their computer system was inadequate. They knew they were short-staffed following the Great Recession. They knew this was a ticking time bomb if anything big ever happened. Yet they beat that drum of ‘no one could have foreseen this.’

How many of these 48,000 people owed unemployment and not getting it have children? How many stopped paying bills and how long ago? How many are now living on the street? Shame on this department and this administration for not handling this properly.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.