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Buffalo, NY | Local News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WGRZ.com

Report: New York State unemployment site uses some 1970s systems

Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said the state is experiencing an unprecedented increase in unemployment claims during the COVID-19 pandemic.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — There are a lot of people out there who have been waiting almost two months on unemployment benefits and have had to deal with a crashing New York State website to even file in the first place.

The folks at the website City and State New York have a report out about that website that might frustrate you even more.

The article shows that the state put out a request for a proposal to revamp that unemployment website three years ago, where it pointed out that some of the systems behind it were designed as far back as the 1970s.

That's why, the report says, the system can't run 24 hours a day, because it needs to take time overnight to process all of the data on the old computers.

City and State says New York contracted with an Indiana company to upgrade the site last year, but wouldn't say how far along that work is now.

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said the state is experiencing an unprecedented increase in unemployment claims during the COVID-19 pandemic during a Wednesday briefing with reporters.

During the course of six weeks, Reardon said the Department of Labor has made improvements to the outdated and overwhelmed system. She said they built and launched a new streamlined online application, increased the number of servers supporting the website from four to 60 and deployed 3,100 staffers to work seven days a week to answer phones and make calls. Before the pandemic they had 400 people working five days a week.

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