HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s labor secretary told lawmakers on today that state police are investigating whether the state’s hotline for jobless benefits was sabotaged, even as she assured them that the problems plaguing it in recent months are improving.
Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway said at a legislative hearing in the Capitol that she considers the phone system “largely fixed” and expects to see call volume continue to drop.
“I think this next six months will be critical,” she said. “We are working on this around the clock.”
Calls to the state unemployment compensation centers skyrocketed in September to 8 million, up from about 900,000 a year earlier. The calls exceeded 15 million in November but were down to fewer than 7 million last month.
Hearthway said police were notified because of the volume of calls, and there also were questions about where they originated.