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Harder Again Calls on Labor Department to Release EDD Reform Funds

WASHINGTON — In reaction to new reporting on the continued failure of the California Employment Development Department (EDD), Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) again called on the Department of Labor to release the $2 billion in support for state unemployment agencies as soon as possible. Rep. Harder passed these new funds into law in March through the American Rescue Plan, yet not a single dime has been distributed to state agencies.

New reporting today shows, despite promises of new hires and better practices, EDD is still failing Central Valley families:

  • EDD answered fewer total calls each week of May than it did each week of March;
  • The agency missed 32% of all callers the week of May 15th, up from 13% of all callers the week of March 1st;
  • The average amount of tries per caller has risen from 6 to 14 from March to May.

“This entire system is broken – and Central Valley families can’t pay their bills because of it. We’re more than a year from the start of the pandemic and it’s unacceptable that EDD has shown next to no signs of improvement,” said Rep. Harder. “We passed funds to shape up EDD back in March and somehow the agency still hasn’t seen a dime of that help. It’s time for the Department of Labor to do what we told it to do months ago and help fix this system.”

At a hearing this April, Rep. Harder pushed Labor Sec. Marty Walsh on his plan to distribute the $2 billion in unemployment agency assistance. Despite repeated calls about the urgent need for this support, the Labor Department has yet to provide a concrete timeline of when agencies like EDD will get the help they need.

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