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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

September 9, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Job security agency to cut jobs

Posted by Andrew Garber

The state agency responsible for handling unemployment benefits will soon be adding hundreds of people to the jobless ranks.

The state Department of Employment Security sent an email to its workers Wednesday alerting them that around 390 full-time equivalent positions will be eliminated over the next two years. This is largely due to cuts in federal funding. Most of the positions will be lost next year.

The agency currently employs around 2,500 people, said Sheryl Hutchison, a spokeswoman for the agency. That figure includes part-time and full-time positions.

"We're countercyclical to the economy. We staff up during bad times and then we crash during good times," Hutchison said. Before the recession, the agency employed around 1,800 people, she said.

The current economy can't really be described as good. But federal dollars, including aid sent went the recession first hit, are shrinking. More than 85 percent of the agency's funding comes from the federal government.

The job loss is part of a broader trend in this state and elsewhere. In Washington, general state government has shed nearly 4,700 full-time jobs since 2009.

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Are the folks to be laid off over the next two years the full-time, "permanent" staff, or are they employees with time-limited full-time...  Posted on September 11, 2011 at 9:02 AM by pkm73. Jump to comment
Such a shame to hear about these public sector oinkers having their gravy train derailed.  Posted on September 10, 2011 at 10:52 AM by count30. Jump to comment
This is either ironic or moronic  Posted on September 9, 2011 at 5:41 PM by lisequinn. Jump to comment