ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Florida's unemployment insurance program relies on computer technology that is antiquated and faces a growing risk of "failure."
That's according to a state report obtained by The Orlando Sentinel. The Agency for Workforce Innovation, which runs the program, found that the 35-year-old mainframe computer costs the state tens of millions of dollars in unemployment overpayments and staff time.
The report says the system is a "roadblock" to getting Floridians back to work and cannot keep pace with the welfare program's growing needs.
The Florida unemployment rate shot up to 9.4 percent in February, its highest since 1976.
Agency interim director Cynthia Lorenzo acknowledges that the computer system needs replacing.
But state Sen. Mike Fasano says he wonders whether the system is as shaky as the report suggests.
Information from: Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)