Legislative panel hears testimony about Kentucky’s unemployment issues

Legislative panel hears testimony about Kentucky’s unemployment issues
Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 10:43 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A state legislative panel heard testimony about unemployment issues Tuesday.

Business leaders and labor cabinet officials testified and took questions from the Unemployment Insurance Reform Task Force.

They talked about everything from fraud to hiring problems.

Kentucky needs to update its unemployment computer system and people need to quit receiving federal unemployment help, in a nutshell, that’s what business leaders and lawmakers discussed.

“I think it would be fair to say that our current unemployment system is outdated,” said George McFarland, UCCS Consultants

A consultant dealing with unemployment taxes told Kentucky lawmakers that Kentucky’s system was overwhelmed and that led to phishing scams and widespread fraud over the past year.

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce officials also say employers need solutions because of the widespread cases of fraud that impacted them.

These fraudulent claims they have to stop. We want to a be partner in that,” said Kate Shanks, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Small business leaders say, despite incentives and offers of signing bonuses, employers are still struggling to find workers.

State labor officials say, while it has gone down drastically, there is still a backlog of unemployment claims that still have not been resolved. They say career centers will remain open because they handle a lot more functions than simply unemployment claims, such as helping with resumes.

The next meeting of the task force will take place on July 26.

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