AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Labor is ramping up for a rush of post-holiday, seasonal layoffs.

Officials are reminding laid-off workers that the best and quickest way to apply for unemployment is to file online at the Labor Department website at www.file4ui.com .

The year 2011 ended with significantly fewer unemployment claims than a year ago. Still, the department says a rush of claims is expected.

Although laid-off workers can phone in their unemployment claims, call volumes tend to be very high this time of year and wait times to get through to a claims representative can be long.