A report in the LA Times says 90% of phone calls to the Employment Development Department go unanswered.  The EDD says they simply lack the manpower right now.

They've lost 130 workers over the past 90 days, 1,300 total since the start of the recession.  Spokeswoman Loree Levy says it's all thanks to federal underfunding...

"...which leaves us short staffed and significantly challenged in trying to keep up with all the workload necessary to getting those critical unemployment benefits paid timely," she explained.

Levy says lawmakers are going to have to allocate more money for the EDD before things get better, both at the federal and the state level.  In the meantime, each phone call they do receive is taking a body away from processing an unemployment claim.

"You know we have a lot of options on our wete, we have a self-help phoneline.  There's a lot of things that we've done and are continuing to provide to help our customers to avoid the frustration of the phone," offered the spokeswoman.