Labor adds phone lines and agents to help answer claimant calls
The Idaho Department of Labor has contracted with a call center to provide additional agents for claimants who want to talk to someone about their claim beginning Monday. The goal is for claimants to eventually experience shorter hold times.
All claimants who call Labor will be directed to call a new toll-free number - (833) 410-1009 – where an additional 30 people will be available to answer calls, take new claims over the phone and unlock accounts, among other tasks. These additional resources free up Labor staff to handle more complex issues with claims.
The call center will be staffed to answer calls from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. MT Monday-Friday. Spanish speaking agents will also be available.
The Labor Department also has recently hired 20 people and continues to use staff members from other divisions in the agency to help handle the increase in claims.
Laid-off Idaho workers have filed 141,628 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the 10 weeks of the COVID-19 state of emergency – 2.4 times the total number of initial claims filed in all of 2019. Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate jumped to 11.5 percent and non-farm payrolls lost 79,500 jobs in April.