Senators field gripes on unemployment system

SANTA FE (KRQE) — New Mexico's new unemployment system has caused a lot of people a lot of headaches.

It went on line last month, and those who depend on it say it doesn't work.

Many spent hours on hold on the phone. For others, it took days to get through.

On Friday legislators let the public voice their concerns at the Roundhouse.

With the amount of people upset by the new system, you would have expected a huge crowd.  But there wasn’t one.

A Senate committee held the hearing, but instead of the public discussing frustrations with the unemployment system, legislators spoke on behalf of their constituents.

The Department of Workforce Solutions launched its online system in January to cut down on fraud and streamline the system.

As soon as it went on line, hundreds called jammed the phone lines with problems like having trouble logging on or filing their weekly certifications.

Workforce Solutions says the call volume has gone down from about 123,000 with the system launch to nearly 25,000 this week.

Sen. Jacob Candelaria read a letter from a constituent who wasn't able to make it to the Capitol Friday.

“On days I was lucky enough to get access to a line, my average hold-time on the system was four hours,” Candelaria said his constituent wrote.

Legislators say the hearing Friday wasn't about new legislation but just about responding to the interests of the community.

Despite all these reported problems, Workforce Solutions has maintained the new system has been successful.

Some people called the KRQE News 13 newsroom saying they didn't know about Friday's hearing and would have been there had they known.

It does not appear to have been very widely publicized. News 13 called the spokesperson for Workforce Solutions to see how they let the public know about it but has not received a call back.


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New Mexico (change)

New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.
Offices & Officials

Governor: Susana Martinez
Lieutenant Governor: John Sanchez
Attorney General: Gary King
Secretary of State: Dianna J. Durán

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