BOSTON (AP) – A surge in layoffs has led to lines as long as two hours at state unemployment centers and lengthy waits for those filing by phone.

The Division of Unemployment Assistance says call center workers answered nearly 30 percent more calls in October, compared to a year ago.

That doesn’t count people who’ve hung up in frustration over waits averaging 30 minutes. One recently laid off woman told The Boston Globe she tried to get through 40 times over two days.

The division’s director, Ed Malmborg, said it’s taken time to get new help since the dramatic rise in unemployment. The number of first-time claims for unemployment is up 30 percent in the state, compared to a year ago.

But Malmborg said another 55 people will soon be added to the call centers.

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