Harper: Unemployment Compensation Falling Short in Service

The State’s unemployment system has come under criticism of late.

Complaints have surfaced from people applying for benefits who say they get a constant busy signal when they call an unemployment compensation center.

“Or they call and leave a message and don’t get a call back or they send an e-mail but there’s no way to get to a live human being and that’s a problem so they call me in frustration and say I paid for this system, what are you doing about it. We have a different phone number to call, we can often get through the glitch. I always assume that if three people call me, 30 people have the problem, if ten people call me then 100 people have the problem and that s not right.”

Montgomery County State Rep. Kate Harper has heard from frustrated constituents. Harper, who has written to the Secretary of Labor and Industry, plans to bring up the issue next week in the legislature. Harper says, Labor and Industry has to increase staff that answers phones or update technology, allowing staff to communicate with the public through quick messaging.