What labor commish has to say about unemployment office debacle (Opinion)
UPDATE: On Saturday, March 21, the Department of Labor announced that starting Sunday, people should call the unemployment line to claim benefits on the following hours based on the last four digits of their Social Security number.
- If the last four digits are 0000 to 2500, call from 8 to 10 a.m.
- 2501 to 5000, call from 10 a.m. to noon
- 5001 to 7500, call from noon to 2 p.m.
- 7501 to 9999, call from 2 to 4 p.m.
Here’s a guy who I don’t envy. NJ Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo has been dealing with a nightmare this week. With entire industries being mandated to close due to the coronavirus crisis, a surge of people attempting to apply online for unemployment benefits crashed the system. Think about it. This is what happens when most people who worked in movie theaters, gyms, casinos, bars, restaurants, amusement parks, indoor amusements, nail salons, hair salons, massage centers, wax centers, tattoo studios, etc. lose their jobs all in the same week.
Government computers were so overwhelmed applicants would go through the entire process only to be locked out at the last minute when they were almost finished. Calling was no better. We heard all week stories of not getting anyone to answer their calls. The frustration in New Jersey is palpable.
Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo joined us for an honest conversation about what’s been going on and offered advice to many as to what their options were. If you missed it, here’s the segment.
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