Unemployment hits record high, costs CA millions

February 19, 2009 7:40:58 PM PST
The number of unemployed workers in the U.S. has hit an all-time high.

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The Labor Department said Thursday that nearly 5 million people are receiving unemployment benefits.

Last week, another 627,000 applied for benefits for the first time.

In California, the state's unemployed who cannot get through to the state's unemployment insurance call centers are ringing up millions in expenses.

The Employment Development Department pays 5 cents to Verizon every time someone calls the toll free number and gets a pre-recorded message telling them all the representatives are busy on other calls. Those messages have cost taxpayers $4.6 million since the beginning of last year.

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