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Kansas unemployment rate drops as problem prevents some from applying for benefits

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 4:50 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - While overall, the unemployment rate is dropping in Kansas, some will point out that part of the reason for this is an ongoing IT (Information technology) issue with the state’s department of labor. It’s a problem that has prevented some Kansans from applying for benefits.

Angela Rogers has waited five weeks for the Kansas Department of Labor to resolve the issue that’s kept her from applying for benefits. In the meantime, bills have piled up and savings are gone.

“We’ve cut off cable, kept the internet because of the kids' school We have in some places taken lightbulbs out. We had our air conditioner set at 78. We did everything we could to make adjustments,” Rogers said.

The Kansas Department of Labor’s issue is much large than just one family.

"Every single person that was on unemployment worked. We were all working. We were all giving back to the community. We were all supporting small businesses. We were stimulating the economy,” Rogers said. “We cannot do that right now. So this isn’t just about what this means for me, and every single person on unemployment. It’s, 'what does this look like for our city, our state?”

Eyewitness News on Wednesday reached out to the Kansas Department of Labor. A spokesperson for the department said KDOL is experiencing a technical issue which the state is working to fix as soon as possible. However, KDOL did not release a timeline for when that would happen.

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