The backlog of unemployment claims that state government officials have failed to pay to people who have lost their jobs in California is rising again, grim tidings for workers to ponder ahead of the Christmas holiday.

As of Dec. 16, an estimated 683,200 California workers were trapped in a bureaucratic limbo created by the state Employment Development Department, which has battled with uneven success to whittle away a mammoth backlog of unpaid jobless claims.

The most recently reported backlog is an increase of 12,500 compared with Dec. 9, when an estimated 670,700 California workers were stuck in the EDD’s logjam.

The overall backlog is made up of a combination of unpaid initial unemployment claims and unpaid continuing claims, according to statistics posted by the EDD.

The initial unemployment claims backlog totaled 370,300 as of Dec. 16, an increase of 13,800 from the initial claims bottleneck reported for Dec. 9, the EDD reported.

The backlog for continuing unemployment claims totaled 312,900 on Dec. 16, which was a tiny decrease of about 1,300 from the logjam totals for the prior week.

The overall backlog of 683,200 is the highest in two weeks.

Plus, the trend in recent weeks has pointed towards a claim logjam that has swelled.

During four of the five most recent weeks, the overall claims backlog has increased. That suggests a pattern of the EDD once again falling behind in its ability to keep up with payments.

An unemployment claim ends up in the EDD backlog total if it falls into one of two categories: an initial claim that has taken more than 21 days to pay or be disqualified, or a continuing claim for which at least one payment has been made but it has taken more than 21 days for the EDD to make the next payment or disqualify the claimant.

Matters could soon deteriorate, multiple recent economic reports for the Bay Area and California show.

The job market has shown signs that it has stalled. State and local government agencies have imposed a fresh round of severe business shutdowns, which could trigger higher layoffs.

An increase in unemployment could force people to file more claims for jobless benefits. That, in turn, could impede the EDD’s payment efforts and cause benefit payouts to lag badly.

In September, the EDD vowed to erase the backlog by January — but Jan. 31 is less than six weeks away. It wasn’t immediately clear how the EDD would keep its promise in light of the increase in the logjam lately.




By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

Leave a Reply

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.