COVID-19 crashed NJ unemployment computers. Other programs at risk, too

When New Jersey assessed the technology it was using three years ago to power everything from state employee payroll to police dispatch, it found what one expert calls massive neglect.

Many programs were deemed high-risk because they were so old, and in other cases just a single state employee knew how to use them.

As a result, some systems were ill-equipped to handle the surge of information and demand generated by this year’s double jolt of a pandemic and an economic tailspin. New Jersey’s antiquated system used for unemployment couldn’t keep up, and residents who lost their jobs or couldn’t