California EDD not answering 60% of calls as it deals with backlog of unemployment claims

California
In this July 20, 2010 file photo, people arrive to seek employment opportunities at a JobTrain office in Menlo Park. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

In this July 20, 2010 file photo, people arrive to seek employment opportunities at a JobTrain office in Menlo Park. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

California’s unemployment agency is not answering 60% of the calls it receives for help as the state struggles to work through a backlog of more than 1 million pending claims.

Employment Development Director Sharon Hilliard told a panel of frustrated state lawmakers on Monday that California is on pace to have 3,700 people working in its call center by January.

That’s compared to the 350 it had working before the pandemic.

Hilliard called the situation “shameful,” but said the department is working through the backlog.

She said the state is receiving about 6.7 million calls a week.

The state has processed 10.6 million unemployment claims since March and paid more than $67 billion in benefits.  

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