PA hit by unusual spike in job hotline calls

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 18, 2012 3:11 PM
woman on phone stress

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's labor secretary says calls to the state's unemployment compensation service centers have mysteriously skyrocketed since September, and the agency is still trying to figure out why.

A letter sent to state lawmakers by Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway on Monday says the volume of calls to the centers rose to nearly eight million in September, compared to just more than 900,000 a year earlier.

She says October calls exceeded 11 million, and in November the figure was 15.5 million.

The Associated Press has obtained a copy of the letter.

Hearthway says the problem is all the more perplexing because the unemployment claim caseload is on the decline.

A department spokeswoman is encouraging people to go online, or use a newly established fax line.

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