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As Unemployment Claims Jump, Arizona Department Of Economic Security Trying To Keep Up

Ryan Randazzo
Kaely Monahan/KJZZ
file | staff
Ryan Randazzo in KJZZ's studio in 2018.

Tens of thousands of Arizonans have applied for unemployment benefits in the wake of the coronavirus.

The criteria to qualify for unemployment amid the crisis was recently expanded, and the Arizona Department of Economic Security has had to reassign dozens of workers to answer phones and start the review process.

But the influx of applications and people receiving benefits — which is on track to break the record set in 2009 if it hasn’t already — has made it difficult for DES to keep up. 

Ryan Randazzo has been following this story for the Arizona Republic.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.