For months KX News has been getting complaints about the unemployment system being backed up at Job Service North Dakota.
While most employees working there, taking these calls and filing claims, are likely trying their absolute best, it was just too much for the existing crew.
Interim Job Service Executive Director Bryan Klipfel says since March 16, the department has received more than 84,000 regular unemployment claims. That’s more than 4x the claims processed in all of 2019, which doesn’t even include the additional applications for federal unemployment money.
But recently, Job Service took in some CARES Act dollars to improve the online processing program, and to bring in more employees to assist North Dakotans with claims.
On top of that, the department took in $110-million in federal relief, just to replenish the trust fund that pays these claims.
“I’m not going to say comfortable, because it’s still been very very busy. But it is one less thing to worry about: that your trust fund is going to go broke. And then if your trust fund goes broke, you have to borrow money and then the employers in the state have to pay that back because they’re the ones that put the money in their trust fund through their taxes,” Klipfel shared.
He says, thankfully, incoming claims have slowed down as business slowly picks back up. He hopes Job Service can catch up with all of the requests soon.