The Sacramento Bee reports that the state’s Employment Development Department is about to cut its number of staff because the funding it gets from the federal government has been slashed.
Normally, the federal unemployment insurance program is the bulwark for the State Department, but the state will receive $150 million less through next June 15.
The federal program complains it is underfunded, blaming Congressional budget cuts, and is giving California less for two reasons: California owes the federal government billions of dollars from borrowing funds when its own state unemployment insurance fund went belly-up, and the unemployment rate in the state fell from double digits to “only” 8.7 percent.
Department spokeswoman Patti Roberts said the department cannot keep up with demand; it has fewer telephone service hours, employees have a lower chance of working overtime, and staff have been transferred to other programs.
In the memo detailing the decision to cut staff, Chief Deputy Director Sharon Hilliard wrote, “We strongly encourage staff to explore other employment opportunities within EDD that don’t rely on (unemployment insurance) funding.”