Google builds an unemployment application portal for New York

The company says it could be used by other states.

Andrei Stanescu via Getty Images

The state of New York has teamed up with Google to build an online portal for unemployment applications that’s much more reliable than the Department of Labor’s old one. Local governments all over the country have to deal with what the agency calls an “unprecedented spike” in unemployment insurance applications due to the coronavirus pandemic. The state had to partner up with tech companies to be able to serve the needs of the public.

New York is working with Google, Deloitte and (Engadget’s parent company) Verizon to “improve the reliability of the state’s online and telephone-based unemployment insurance application systems” in an initiative known as “Tech Surge.”

Its partnership with Google, in particular, focuses on an application portal that’s powered by the tech giant’s cloud services and can handle a high volume of users. The portal was designed to work on smartphones, tablets and PCs, and applicants will be able to pick up where they left off. It’s expected to go live today, Friday morning, on the DOL’s website.

According to CNBC, Google is also backing other states’ efforts to fight COVID-19, and it’s hoping that they’ll adopt its unemployment insurance processing technology, as well. A spokesperson said in a statement:

“We continue to work with local, state, and federal agencies on a number of projects to help them better serve citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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