Google co-creates an unemployment application site for New York

The state of New York has joined forces with Google to create a dedicated website for those filing unemployment applications. 

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With many firms and employees having to part ways due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, local government agencies are having to deal with an unprecedented number of unemployment insurance applications (via Engadget). 

The partnership between the state of New York, Google, Deloitte, and Verizon will see the new website essentially replace the far less reliable Department of Labor’s old online portal. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the New York State Department of Labor’s unemployment insurance filing system has faced an unprecedented increase in volume — with peak weeks seeing a 16,000% increase in phone calls and a 1,600% increase in web traffic, compared to a typical week. 

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This unemployment site relies heavily on Google’s cloud services to manage a high volume of concurrent users. While Deloitte is offering an additional call center with hundreds of trained staff and experienced customer service professionals to help direct calls and queries. 

The Department of Labor will roll out a new “call back” system, allowing their staff to proactively call New Yorkers who need to submit additional information to support their existing unemployment assistance application. This means New Yorkers who have already filed partial claims under the old system and had been told to call the hotline to finish their application should not — instead, the DOL call center will call these New Yorkers directly. 

Verizon is providing expanded phone “ports” from 1,750 to 10,000 to help increase the Department of Labor’s call center call capacity on top. 

For those accessing the unemployment portal, it works across smartphones, tablets, and PCs, allowing applicants to save and continue where they left off at any point. The site is set to go live today on the Department of Labor’s website

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