Chat Box: NJ labor commissioner discusses state unemployment system’s problems

Robert Asaro-Angelo apologizes to those facing hardships, says improvements to the system are being made daily

The state’s commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development says much of the problems with the state’s unemployment system are a result of federal regulations.

“The federal unemployment system is certainly a mess,” Robert Asaro-Angelo said in an interview, adding, “The federal unemployment system was not created to handle COVID, or quite frankly, any pandemic or emergency of this size. An unemployment system, which is what we are trying to implement here in New Jersey … was created in 1934.”

Asaro-Angelo answered questions from viewers, who expressed concern about delays in receiving their benefits, getting assistance with applying for benefits or reaching the state’s help line. He apologized to those facing hardships and promised that improvements are being made daily.

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Chat Box streams live on NJ Spotlight News and the NJ Spotlight News YouTube channel Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and airs on NJTV Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 a.m.