The Department of Workforce Development says they’re working to untangle the backlog of unemployment claims.

Chief economist Dennis Winters says DWD is doing the best they can right now, and that they’re already scaling up their service. 

“We’re doing everything that’s possible, handling millions of phone calls and hundreds of thousands of claims on a system that wasn’t prepared for the manner in how sudden that this all happened.”

At 14.1 percent unemployment, Wisconsin still has a lower unemployment rate than the national average. 439-thousand people lost a job in April.

Winters says the state’s unemployment system was never built to handle as many claims as have come in. 

“We’re doing everything we can to ramp up on that side, and for those that are having difficulty we apologize but the vast majority are being handled as well as we can, and all of them are being handled as well as we can, given the circumstances.”

Jobless numbers like this have not been seen since the Great Depression.

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