Filing for Unemployment Nearly Impossible in Mesa County Some Say

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

With unemployment rates nationally reaching record levels colorado is starting to feel the pinch as well, and as people look to apply for unemployment insurance they are finding it takes a lot longer than they expected.

Gene Parker was at the Mesa County Workforce Center looking for a job Tuesday. "Right now I'm looking for a mining job," says Parker.
Parker is on unemployment but just recently he applied for emergency unemployment help and found out what many people are experiencing across the state.

"The wait on the phone is like for ever and ever if you ever get through I mean I sat for two days trying to get through on the phone," says Parker. That is a familiar problem heard at the Workforce Center.
Mesa County Workforce Services Director Sue Tuffin says about the wait, "We are hearing anything from waits of 3 hours to four to five hours."
Parker says just getting through to the Colorado Department of Labor is hard enough. "Calling hanging up, calling hanging up, because it said you can't get through."
Tuffin says that is because more people in Colorado are applying for unemployment insurance. "Volumes are up 40 to 50 percent," says Tuffin.

All unemployment applications for the state are handled in Denver, the Workforce Center recently asked the state to allow them to do some of the processing, in an effort to speed things up. "We'll we're frustrated because we can't provide good quality customer service to individuals coming in here trying to access what is a benefit for them," says Tuffin.
Parker had pretty much the same idea. "If they had an unemployment office over here to take up the slack for Denver that would be excellent."

A couple tips if you are trying to call the Department of Labor,
make those calls early in the day and try not to call on monday or tuesday as those are usually the busiest days.


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