Audit: 1.7 million unanswered calls to unemployment line

MADISON (AP) — A new state report says Department of Workforce Development call centers were too busy to answer almost 1.7 million calls from people looking to claim unemployment benefits in the year that ended June 30.

The Legislative Audit Bureau issued findings Tuesday showing that DWD placed people in hold queue when call center staff were busy. If more calls were received than the queue would hold, the callers were told to call again later. The findings indicated that the vast majority of unanswered calls were made between December 2013 and January 2014.

DWD officials say claims typically spike in winter in cold-weather states such as Wisconsin and the number of unanswered calls isn't an indication of the actual number of callers, saying the same callers often call back multiple times.