Gov. Justice Asks National Guard to Help With Unemployment Claims

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia National Guard members who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic will be used to process mounting unemployment claims, Gov. Jim Justice said.

“As of Monday, the Workforce call line will be operating 24/7 and I have directed the West Virginia National Guard to spare no expense, and use all their resources in as many physical locations as possible, to get the backlog of calls under control,” Justice said in a news release last week.

The West Virginia Office of Technology is assisting with implementing technology, he said.

Workforce WV employees are trying to process 90,000 claims from last month compared with 2,400 in March 2019, Justice said.

According to the jobs report for March, released Friday by the US Department of Labor, there was a decrease in 701,000 non-farm payrolls nationwide; the unemployment rate went up to 4.4%, compared to 3.5% in February.