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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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