Unemployment problems: What’s being done to make the system work?

Thousands of Michiganders trying to get through busy phone lines

With unemployment claims reaching record highs in Michigan due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, a massive strain has been put on the system.

DETROIT – With unemployment claims reaching record highs in Michigan due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, a massive strain has been put on the system.

Thousands of Michiganders are trying to get through, but they’re finding busy phone lines and a website that can’t handle the traffic.

Help Me Hank is getting answers from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and learning what’s being done to make the system work.

Whitmer said she knows this has created additional stress for many people.

Among the changes: the agency, which typically has 130 staffers answering calls, will have roughly 500 people doing so by the end of the week.

Work is also being done to improve the website, Whitmer said. The best advice is to log on during non-peak hours such as the early morning or later in the evening.

Beyond the physical work needed to upgrade the systems, Whitmer said she’s worker to offer more help to people who need it.

You can hear Whitmer’s comments in the video posted above.


About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.