The mammoth backlog of unemployment claims that have buried California’s troubled labor agency amid coronavirus-linked business shutdowns and huge numbers of layoffs has begun to shrink a bit, a government report indicated Thursday.

As of Oct. 7, the backlog of unemployment claims that the state government has been attempting to work through was roughly 1.34 million — a giant number, but considerably less than what it has been.

About a week ago, as of Sept. 30, the backlog was about 1.56 million, according to official dashboards posted by the state’s Employment Development Department.

That works out to a decrease of 218,400 in the size of the backlog, or a decline of 14 percent in a week, this news organization’s analysis of the EDD’s dashboards shows.

The state EDD on Monday instituted a new tool to verify the identifies of an applicant for unemployment benefits.

The tool is designed to automate key segments of the process to authorize payments of of jobless claims filed by California workers.

“The EDD believes the implementation of our new ID.me identity verification technology, which launched on Monday at the front end of our application process, will allow us to more quickly authenticate legitimate claimants and help EDD process their claims faster,” the EDD said Thursday.


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.

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