Officials from Missouri, United States want to continue outsourcing its call center that handles jobless benefits even though the unemployment rate in the state has returned to pre-pandemic levels.
According to a report from St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is urging private companies to bid on a contract to run a call center that would help process unemployment claims and employ up to 150 individuals.
In April 2020, Missouri’s unemployment rate reached 12.5% amid the pandemic. Currently, it is now down to 3.7%, equal to its pre-pandemic levels.
Labor Department spokeswoman Maura Browning explained that the agency still needs assistance from an outsourcing company as they continue to deal with a large number of unemployment benefits appeals.
California-based company Protiviti previously handled these duties and was paid $18 million. The outsourcing firm hired about 300 people to handle unemployment inquiries.