Programming Error Hits Thousands of Unemployed Tennesseans

Tennessee's current seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is somewhere around 10.5 percent. So you can imagine the extreme worry and concern when some 20,000 unemployed Tennesseans on the Extended Benefits or Emergency Unemployment Compensation program were told that their unemployment checks had erroneously run out.

According to news report like this one on ABCNews24 out of Nashville, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce said that a computer programming error did not allow the unemployed workers to certify their benefits Sunday or Monday, which is something that they must do once a week.

A fix has now been made, and those affected have until the end of this week to certify their status. Unemployment checks may be delayed a couple of days, however.

In the ABCNews24 story, a Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce spokesperson described the programming error this way:

"The code is very intense, and takes a long time to program. There are thousands of calculations that go into small changes in the system.  That programming error was deep in the system and we didn't know until we started getting call from our clients."

Hmm, "very intense code."

Sounds like somebody in the IT Department tried to explain to the spokesperson the reason for the bug and didn't quite communicate it very well.

Apparently, there have been recent eligibility changes in Extended Benefits and Emergency Unemployment Compensation program which have caused a number of Department of Labor and Workforce IT system changes. It looks like system testing didn't find all the bugs.

Related Stories

Risk Factor

IEEE Spectrum's risk analysis blog, featuring daily news, updates and analysis on computing and IT projects, software and systems failures, successes and innovations, security threats, and more.

Contributor
Willie D. Jones
 

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up for the ComputerWise newsletter and get biweekly news and analysis on software, systems, and IT delivered directly to your inbox.

Advertisement
Advertisement