California takes more time to process initial unemployment claims than 40 other states, according to a new state audit of the Employment Development Department, as high-tech and telephone problems continue to plague the system.
For the quarter ending June 30, 2012, the department made 78 percent of initial payments within 14 days. The federal government considers 87 percent of initial benefits issued within 14 days to be acceptable.
The audit notes that unemployment fell in California from 12.3 percent in June 2010 to 10.4 percent in August 2012 and that initial claims dropped from 296,000 to 209,000.
"Although the State's unemployment rate has declined since 2010, the department still faces challenges in meeting acceptable timeliness levels," State Auditor Elaine Howle said in the report.