Modernizing Tennessee’s Unemployment E-Services

TN State Unemployment website

It seems rare when a government agency is able to put into place a new process, procedure, or system, then have it look like a win-win for all involved right from the start. However, that seems to be the case with the recently revamped Unemployment Insurance program that Tennessee’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) debuted in February.

The Goal

Tennessee decided more than two years ago to begin work to streamline the unemployment insurance system and improve the customer’s experience. They completely reimagined the “jobs4TN” website portal in a way that would make it easier and more efficient to use for both claimants and employers.

They wanted to take multiple web pages and consolidate all the information into “one easy-to-navigate page.” 

“Before…the new system, it could take a person 40 minutes to an hour to file a claim for unemployment benefits,” said Jason Cecil, Assistant Commissioner and Project Lead. “We knew we could do better, and that was our goal.”

The system was quietly launch on February 19, a day before they publicized that the new system was live. In the first 24 hours, almost 6,000 state residents set up new Claimant e-Services accounts and completed their weekly certifications…and they did so much faster than they had been able to do before.

For Claimants

“The new system shows us real-time data…we can see that claimants were logging into the new system and completing their weekly certifications in five to seven minutes. Before, that process took them 10 to 15 minutes to complete,” said Cecil.

With the new system an initial unemployment claim averaged 15.87 minutes, compared with 40 to 60 minutes previously. And the weekly certifications are now averaging 7.83 minutes, rather than 15.87 minutes.

The new jobs4TN landing page has a clean and easy to read design with separate journeys for individuals and employers. Claimants can use the site to

  • File for unemployment
  • Complete weekly certifications
  • Look for a new job
  • Post a resume for employers to see
  • Improve essential jobs skills like reading, writing, or math

For Employers

In the other side of the website, employers will be able to

  • File their response to an unemployment claim
  • Submit mass layoff or employer-file claims
  • Look for job applicants
  • Post job openings
  • Review resumes of qualified candidates
  • Manage third-party administrator access
  • View all forms they have submitted through the e-Services portal

They will find this all in a simplified dashboard layout with alerts to complete required tasks that will make them very hard to miss.  Leaning into the greater efficiency, certain tasks that used to require employers to mail documents can now be completed online .

Communications are improved, with the ability to get help quickly through an advanced help system that works to put employers in touch with the proper respondents in the TDLWD as quickly as possible.

What’s Next

The TDLWD says that this new website is just the start as they work toward a “fully integrated Unemployment Insurance system.” They are working already to build a “modernized Employer Unemployment Tax system” and those employers who use the new e-Services system will be in better shape to use the new UI tax system when it is rolled out.

Eric Glapa, Director 2 with TDLWD said: “The sooner they register and use the system, the easier it will be in the future for them when more functionality is added.”

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Modernizing Tennessee’s Unemployment E-Services