The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce will drop 136 of its own workers over the next seven months as the federal benefits extensions expire.
The agency beefed up its workforce in the aftereffects of the Great Recession to handle unemployment claims that lasted in some cases up to 99 weeks because of federal funds provided to workers laid off in the harsh economy. But the agency no longer needs the additional workforce as the Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits programs run out.
The downsizing starts this month and will be implemented in two phases through next June. The agency in a statement said it hopes many of the cutbacks can be managed through natural attrition with retiring and resigning employees.
Todays announcement is the result of difficult decisions. We have to align our workforce according to current and future projected funding streams, Executive Director Abraham J. Turner, said in a statement. Like most other states throughout the country, we are affected by a number of economic events including the reduction of federal funding.
The agency said there will be no loss of services citizens and businesses across the state.
Our commitment to reemployment efforts, good customer service and small businesses continues to be a high priority for our agency, Turner said.