A new audit reveals a troubling trend at the Department of Workforce Development and its response times to calls on the unemployment hotline.
The report issued today by the Legislative Audit Bureau shows that less than 1% of calls to state run unemployment centers were answered. Of the more than 41 million calls placed to DWD centers, more than 93% were blocked or received a busy signal. The calls tracked in the audit were all placed between March 15th and June 30th.
Governor Evers fired the agency’s secretary earlier this month; the governor citing lack of progress made on unemployment claims during the pandemic. The Department of Workforce Development says within six weeks of the pandemic taking hold, the office received 321,000 calls per week.
Once the pandemic hit, the state expanded from one unemployment call center to three. The audit also finding that the average time a caller had to wait to speak with an employee at the DWD-run unemployment center was 52 minutes.
Governor Tony Evers’ office has not responded to a request for comment regarding the report.
You can read the full audit here.