Unemployment hotline troubles

May 12, 2009 3:36:10 PM PDT
Unemployed people already down on their luck are running into more frustration in New Jersey. The hotline that is supposed to be a source of help has been more like a headache the last couple of days.The state says it's all because of technical difficulties.

New Jersey's unemployment phone system normally handles thousands of calls an hour but recently many heard this:

"If you are one of New Jersey's 370,000 unemployed you have to connect with the state to be certified for your next check."

"I called today and I thought it was something wrong with my telephone so I tried from my landline phone and it didn't work and said your call cannot be completed," said Abdias Cabrera of Woodlyn.

Frustrated him and others Action News talked to gave up phoning and reported in person.

"Right now I had to come down here and get a number and talk to somebody in person and I got everything straightened out," said Recardo Cruz of Union Township.

According to the Department of Labor in Trenton the phone software glitch surfaced Monday. David Socolow is the Labor Commissioner.

"Monday mornings we actually track this on a minute by minute basis you expect to see 10,000 certifications an hour and we didn't see that kind of volume so we knew we had a problem."

As technicians wrestled with the problem people were urged to use the Department's online connection and as for the phones.

"We rebooted the system twice and since the reboot it seems to be working."

When we dialed this afternoon it worked.

A major software upgrade for the system that was supposed to take place in two weeks has been moved up and will take place Tuesday night so state officials believe no one should have a problem calling in after that.

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