As unemployment skyrocketed during the Great Recession, North Carolina officials were fielding 100,000 phone calls a week from people seeking help with unemployment benefits.

Now, nearly that many phone calls are coming in every single day.

That’s an impossible number of calls for the current staff of the state unemployment office to deal with. And it has led to numerous complaints from frustrated North Carolinians who call and are put on hold for hours — or who are just automatically hung up on, without even getting a chance to wait on hold.

“I have called every day, six to eight times a day, and have not been able to speak to anyone,” said Joe Edward, a recently unemployed Cary man. He questioned why the phone lines were

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