Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Thursday is New Jobless Day

That's tomorrow, of course, but it appears that some of the new jobless aren't being counted because they can't get through to get their benefits.

SACRAMENTO -- Think it's bad losing your job in the middle of hard times? Try calling the state for help.

In January, with the unemployment rate nearing 6%, nearly 12.6 million calls were placed to the state's toll-free phone number to apply for unemployment insurance benefits. But more than three-fifths never got through.

Frank Hartzell knows the problem all too well. A laid-off Mendocino County social services worker, he tried calling morning and afternoon, 45 times in December. The computer hung up every time until No. 46, and he was able to apply.

I'm guessing that there are going to be quite a few holes in what little social safety net exists if things get worse.