U.S. Markets closed

RI labor department rehires 11 laid off workers

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The Rhode Island labor department is rehiring some more employees it had laid off from the unemployment call center, leaving its phone lines clogged and its cases backed up.

The Department of Labor and Training said Monday it is bringing back 11 previously laid-off employees of the unemployment call center. DLT Director Charles Fogarty acknowledged the difficulty many have had reaching the department and said he hopes the rehiring will help.

The department laid off 67 workers last summer. It had already rehired 22 for the call center, in part with the help of federal funds. The positions are funded only through September.

Fogarty said the claim load is greater than expected because the federal emergency unemployment benefits program has been extended for another year.