Unemployment agency cutting jobs, hours
NEW YORK (Oct 12) The Triad and
The division provides assistance to job seekers at 89 locations across the state, some of which are connected to JobLink sites within
Ellis said he could not provide a breakdown for the number of temporary employees let go in the 14 counties that make up the Triad and
The agency has had its funding reduced by 25 percent, or by about
The funding cut came as a result of a new state law -- effective
The law also ended extended federal benefits for the jobless and reduced the weekly amount and number of weeks of unemployment insurance benefits.
Ellis said the workforce solutions division still has about 550 employees in the state.
It has reorganized 16 of 46 of its locations to date, with many of the offices reducing hours and/or reducing the number of days they are open each week. The agency plans to consolidate offices to community colleges and other sites where it makes logistical sense in order to reduce overhead costs
" Traffic flow was a consideration for those offices where temporary employees were let go or its operational hours were reduced," Ellis said. "The unemployment rates also were considered in the decisions."
He said the Workforce Solutions division plans to make up for having fewer employees through getting better at customer service and through the use of full-time employees whose primarily responsibilities are on federally funded training assistance programs.
" We are not leaving any county without these services," Ellis said.
The division also expects the redesigned NCWorks program will lessen the downsizing through its online services. Commerce officials have said the free website will streamline the job-search process, improve online security and reduce annual operational costs by more than
Job seekers can search through job posts pulled from thousands of websites and receive alerts through email and text message. Employers can post jobs and gain access to real-time labor market information that will assist them in making competitive offers to recruit high-talented workers.
Commerce said Thursday that more than 1,600 businesses have registered on the www. ncworks.gov website since it debuted
" I am concerned that we are on a path that will lock in diminished resources and reduced services for the long-term future," said
" I think the bigger, overarching issue is that federal and state policymakers remain very ambivalent about workforce development. Everyone talks about the importance of workforce skills, yet the workforce development system often is overlooked, ignored and underfunded.
" Public leaders clearly don't put the money where their mouths are."
At least 65,000 North Carolinians, including about 12,000 in the Triad and Northwest N.C., lost their federal extended unemployment insurance benefits. Another 100,000 North Carolinians who would have become eligible for the benefits from
Legislators disqualified the state from federal extended benefits because they chose to alter
As a result,
According to the
Economists say it may take several months or up to a year to determine whether the reduced jobless benefits and the promise of a quicker reduction of the U.S. Labor debt will spur employers, particularly small businesses, to increase hiring.