State unemployment agency adapts to handle huge number of new cases

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Across Michigan unemployment numbers are skyrocketing. Last week more than 300,000 people filed applications. The timing is doubly bad as heading into this crisis unemployment numbers were so low, unemployment agency staffing was down as well.

(Cropped Photo: MGN Photo - Julie Chasen / MGN)(License Link)

With the huge spike in jobless claims and offices being closed to the public, there has been some bottlenecking at call centers and online. The state's unemployment agency has put a system in place scheduling people to apply based on their last names.

"Just know that we're working around the clock to make sure the claims come in, the claims are coming in at record levels so we know the system is working, we know that the money is going out for people who are eligible, and so I just encourage everyone to be patient, and if you haven't got through you're going to get through and you're going to get paid," said Director of the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, Steve Gray.

They also advise if you're going to apply online to do so during off hours between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. when website traffic is likely to be lighter.

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