PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ While the number of unemployment claims continues to trend downward, Matt Weldon, the acting director of the R.I. Department of Labor and Training (DLT), tells 12 News they’re still extremely busy.
Rhode Islanders have been expressing their frustrations with the DLT call center, one person writing into 12 Responds asking: “How many employees are manning these phones? How many calls are they receiving daily?”
Weldon apologized to those who are struggling to get in touch with someone regarding their unemployment claims.
“I know how frustrating it can be when you can’t get ahold of someone on the phone,” he said, adding that they’re still receiving roughly 67,000 claims each week.
In an effort to make things easier, Weldon said the DLT launched an online system that allows people to check on the status of their claim. He said the DLT will also implement a “virtual queue.”
“What that means is you are on hold but don’t have to wait on the phone,” Weldon said. “We’ll call you back.”
“We know we need to do more, we need to do better and I’m absolutely committed to it,” he continued.