State Labor Department apologizes for its website not working properly. Officials say an overload of claims being filed online caused the problem.

“We did find out that the problem we are having with our online filing system is really load based. We are just getting too many people filing for claims,” said Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Scott Murakami. “Today (Thursday) we experienced quite a number of phone calls and this is all cascading down because of the situation with the website but we received so many phone calls that our phone system started crashing.”

The State asked applicants to call and make an appointment or apply online. Then the state saw unemployment claims reach about 3-thousand on Tuesday.

“The claims for yesterday (Wednesday) were 2,263 which is about 700 less than Tuesday, but the reason why the claims are less we believe is because of the latencies that we experienced in the system so that’s on us. That is on our department. I apologize to the public for that,” said Murakami.

So the department increased its staff size.

“We originally had 7 staff in our claims office today (Thursday) we increased that by another 7, so we have 14 staff in total now. Tomorrow (Friday) we will bring on 9 more staff to help with filings and processing claims,” he said.

Officials also optimized the system.

“Once it hits that maximum, claimants will receive a message that says we are receiving a high volume of traffic, apologies for the situation but please try again a little later,” said Murakami.

Murakami says these are not long term solutions, but they’re working on it.

“We are building two new servers that will support a greater load of claimants. One is a gateway server and the other is a web server and that will then allow us to increase significantly the number of claimants we are receiving online,” he said.

Murakami tells us their system was never stress-tested like this.

“There is no way anybody anticipated that we would see a shutdown of restaurants, a shutdown of business and it has to be done because what we are trying to do is flatten the curve on any type of outbreak.”

The department is hoping to upgrade the system over the weekend.