Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer Calls on Labor Department to Increase Workforce

Senator Tony Luetkemeyer Calls on Labor Department to Increase Workforce

JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, has called on the Missouri Department of Labor to increase its workforce in response to an unprecedented influx of unemployment claims due to COVID-19. In a letter to the department’s director, Sen. Luetkemeyer asked the department to hire temporary workers to answer phone calls.

Sen. Luetkemeyer addresses the media prior to the Legislature adjourning to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

“My office is receiving a high volume of inquiries from constituents attempting to navigate the unemployment process for the first time in their lives,” Sen. Luetkemeyer wrote. “Unfortunately, these constituents are unable to contact the department directly due to the number of Missourians calling to file claims.”

In order to better serve Missourians, Sen. Luetkemeyer suggests enlisting currently under-utilized employees at other state agencies to fill the gap. Public access to state government buildings has been suspended and many state functions requiring social contact have been curtailed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Senator Luetkemeyer believes employees who normally perform those duties should be retrained to process unemployment claims.

“People who have lost their jobs are not having their claims processed in a timely fashion, and we need other state workers to be reassigned to meet the increasing demands on the unemployment system,” Sen. Luetkemeyer said. “Our state government should follow the example of private industry and shift resources to fill critical needs in times of crisis.”

In response to the overwhelming call volume, the Department of Labor encourages claimants to use online resources whenever possible. For more information about unemployment insurance, visit

For more information about Sen. Luetkemeyer, visit