Maryland labor department highlights unemployment portal improvements

The Maryland Labor Department says it has taken the necessary steps to improve its much-criticized unemployment portal.

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As the state experienced a record number of laid off workers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the portal was lauded a couple of weeks ago as a streamlined, one-stop shop for filing for unemployment.

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Shortly after launch, however, the site crashed; and users complained about prolonged wait times.

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Over this past weekend, the state said the portal was working “better,” but people filing for unemployment said they were still experiencing problems.

On Tuesday, the department announced that since the steps for improvement had been taken “claimants experienced zero to minimal issues on the site on Sunday and Monday, despite the record volume of traffic.”

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According to the department, 201,000 people filed for weekly claim certifications and, on Sunday alone, the site processed 141,000 weekly claim certifications.

“As a result of our efforts, Maryland is now the only state that has a comprehensive system to allow all eligible claimants to apply online in one place,” the department said.