"The worst part is we're not able to provide people with the help they want," she said. "We totally understand the frustration."
Goulet said many of the questions that come in through the number can be answered online, and the state has dedicated a fax number to help direct people around the problem. It generates a call back from a staff member within three days, Goulet said.
Other alternatives include going to one of 68 Pennsylvania CareerLink centers around the state, where open phone lines are maintained for people who need help. Eight unemployment compensation centers, initially built as walk-in facilities, are no longer open to the public, but instead serve as call centers.