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Coloradans Frustrated With Unemployment Office, Job Prospects

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Money Saver Suzanne McCarroll

DENVER (CBS4) – Unemployed Coloradans say they’re frustrated by the lack of jobs and by the difficulty getting their benefits.

On Friday at the unemployment office in Denver, long waits and long lines had people fuming. They say the lag time between filing for claims and receiving their checks is 10 weeks or more.

“I got here about 8:30 a.m. and I had to fill out a form and they told me they’d get to me as soon as possible and I haven’t been seen yet. I’m still waiting,” one woman said.

4 On Your Side Money Saver Suzanne McCarroll heard one complaint after another at the unemployment office

“I’ve been here five hours,” said another woman, who also said it will be 11 to 12 weeks until she will get a check.

“We are continuously trying to improve our claimant communications to help them get the information they need,” Cher Haavind with the Colorado Deptartment of Labor and Unemployment said.

Haavind said the number of people filing claims has nearly paralyzed the system, but they are trying to get more help.

“We’ve added more than 25 people to that unit in the just the last two weeks to get that claim processing time down,” she said.

“We’re at risk for a softening job market, and not the kind of strength we’d like to see going into the summertime,” state Chief Economist Alexandra Hall said.

Hall is focusing more on how many jobs are being added monthly to Colorado’s economy.

“I think we added about 1,200 payroll jobs for the month, which is less than I’d like to see,” Hall said.

That means those waiting in the unemployment line are likely to stay disappointed and frustrated.

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