COVID-19 jobless face filing site crashes in many states

Crave, Interel combine technologies for room control
Unemployment beneifts websites have crashed in 26 states and access from smartphones and tablets is especially weak, according to an ITIF study. (Crave Interactive)

With nearly 17 million Americans seeking unemployment benefits, the challenge to file online has been daunting.

A report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) found that 86% of state-run unemployment websites failed on at least one criterion for mobile access such as page-load speed, mobile friendliness, and accessibility.  At least half of the sites crashed under heavy traffic since mid-March, ITIF said in a report.

ITIF said one-third of state unemployment websites aren’t optimized for use with smartphones and tablets which poses a problem for 20% of Americans that access the internet from home only by using a mobile device.

Free Daily Newsletter

Interesting read? Subscribe to FierceElectronics!

The electronics industry remains in flux as constant innovation fuels market trends. FierceElectronics subscribers rely on our suite of newsletters as their must-read source for the latest news, developments and predictions impacting their world. Sign up today to get electronics news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

The report said that state unemployment websites perform well on desktop load speeds, while mobile load speeds are poor.

ITIF provided a list of unemployment website crashes reported in 26 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

“State governments should design cloud-based websites and applications that are scalable and can withstand surges in traffic,” said ITIF research analyst Michael McLaughlin.  He said Congress needs to provide funding for states to modernize their websites.  “E-government services will be particularly important during future physical distancing and emergencies.”

Some states have put out a call for COBOL programmers to update their unemployment benefit systems. Many of the systems were built decades ago and not all the system components have been updated since COBOL was first used in the early 1960s.

RELATED: COVID-19 takes its toll on job market for embedded engineers

Suggested Articles

Workers and customers walk through the ThermalPass gateway device and sensors screen for temperature

The largely unseen impact of this pandemic has left working engineers grappling with more responsibilities, schedule slips, parts shortages and more.

North America billings were up by 15%, but Europe declined 23%