SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh says up to 30 million people lost their jobs in a short period of time during the pandemic, which is unprecedented.

“Right now, working at the Department of Labor is about the ability of millions of Americans to honestly get back on their feet and put food on the table,” Walsh said during a conference call with reporters earlier this week.

Walsh asked a series of questions about the slow processing of claims and complaints from many, particularly from the state of Florida. But he admitted that he had heard of complaints in Georgia too.

“I think the pandemic exposed the lack of investment in technology and infrastructure that would have enabled states to better meet the needs of Americans during the pandemic,” he said.

Walsh told reporters he has only been on the job three weeks but is determined to get down to work helping the unemployed, whether filing now or in the past, and still looking for benefits.

He says the U.S. Department of Labor is working with the state of Georgia.

“Georgia is increasing staffing capacity to cope with the workload there. Therefore, we will continue to help Georgia provide the benefits to those in need,” said Walsh Insurance Benefits. “

Walsh says he is concerned about anyone who may still have some benefits owed.

“There is no reason why an employee is sitting at home and has not received unemployment benefits. There is no excuse for it, there is no answer to it. In all honesty, the previous administration did not address this at the national level, ”said Walsh.

He says President Joe Biden’s American bailout plan provides more funding for benefits, but there will also be efforts to help states process and approve applications.

“I can’t talk to the past, I can only talk to what we’re going to do here,” said Walsh. “I would just tell people that I apologize on behalf of the government for not receiving your unemployment benefit and we will do everything we can to correct the situation.”