May 7, 2020

Unemployment Application Numbers Fall, But Agency Still Struggles With Phone Calls

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Initial unemployment claims filed in Indiana since the beginning of March.  - Hoosiers By The Numbers

Initial unemployment claims filed in Indiana since the beginning of March.

Hoosiers By The Numbers

Nearly 44,000 Hoosiers filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week. While that number declines, the Department of Workforce Development is still struggling to handle high call volumes. 

Starting Friday, DWD Commissioner Fred Payne says, a new program will supply an extra 13 weeks of unemployment for those who have maxed out benefits. Also, self-employed workers who had unemployment applications approved should start receiving payments. 

READ MORE: Governor Holcomb Outlines How – And Why – The State Will Reopen

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana 2020 Two-Way. Text "elections" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on COVID-19 and the 2020 election.

Despite the progress, Payne says the agency is still struggling to answer phone calls.

“Our wait time is still high and our call back efficiency is still – improving,” he says. “So we’re improving on both of those two fronts, but we’re still nowhere close to where we want to be.”

As of now, more than 600,000 Hoosiers have applied for unemployment insurance benefits since mid-March. 

Contact Justin at or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Support independent journalism today. You rely on WFYI to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Donate to power our nonprofit reporting today. Give now.



Related News

Republican Legislative Leaders Applaud Unemployment System Change
State Petition Hopes to Remove Pit Bulls From Aggressive Breed List
For Some Older Adults In The Workforce, Retirement Still Out Of Reach