INDIANAPOLIS — In order to keep up with the record number of new unemployment filings, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development is making some changes to the way they operate. The department is also hiring dozens of new employees to help.
There are warnings on the DWD website and long wait times if you try to call.
"Right now we are just not staffed for the kind of volume that we are seeing," Josh Richardson, chief of staff of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development said.
The department is seeing new unemployment filings like never before.
"It's not just that it is heavy volumes, it's volumes that are so far beyond what I think we would have ever thought was possible," Richardson said.
The previous record of new unemployment filings was set back in January 2009 when the state saw 27,000 in one week. Two weeks ago there were 148,000. Richardson said the department is doing everything they can to keep up.
"I think you will continue to see those big numbers," Richardson said. "We know again there are a lot of anxious people that are trying to figure out how does this work, am I doing this right. What are these issues? And they just want someone to answer their question so we are really trying to make sure that we wrap around that as much as possible."
Richardson said the department is updating their website with new information and adding to the frequently asked questions page. He urges people to check that before calling as many people have had questions that could be answered online.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development is also reassigning employees who don't typically work in the department, borrowing employees from other agencies and hiring about 70 new employees. About a dozen new employees started Monday.
"This is an anxiety provoking time for a lot of people and we want to be there for them and we are working really hard to do that," Richardson said.
Richardson said the system is designed to walk you through the process and that errors with new claims will likely work themselves out within the typical 21 day period.