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Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices

 
Treyfish
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09/18/2012 01:35 AM
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Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
September 18, 2012 at 1:00 am

Unanswered calls, long waits at agency's offices may get worse

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency answered less than 10 percent of more than a million calls to its customer service lines in August, even as the agency gets ready to lay off more of its staff.


Unemployed workers say they face two-hour waits at the unemployment office and hours of repeat dialing only to be put on hold.

This comes as the number of jobless workers continues to decline.

The department will lay off 255 permanent full-time employees Oct. 1, on the heels of the Aug. 31 layoffs of 177 part-time temporary workers who were brought in to relieve congestion at the height of the recession. The staffing moves leave about 800 employees with the agency, including about 100 answering phones at the agency's Lansing Call Center.

Critics said the long waits for service are what happen after a decade of cuts to the ranks of state workers: Those who are left are expected to do more and often are overwhelmed by the workload.

State officials said new phone and computer systems to be completed next September will speed things up. They're also educating clients to use online services, which are faster, and tweaking procedures to shift calls to backup operators when lines are overwhelmed.

Steve Arwood, director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency, said all the positions were covered by federal unemployment funds, which have been cut as the number of Michigan's jobless workers has declined. The number peaked at 537,000 in June 2009. As of Aug. 31, there were 167,348 workers receiving jobless benefits in Michigan.

The 432 layoffs will save about $35 million annually, said Chawn Greene-Farmer, spokeswoman for the agency.

Arwood said, at times, it's impossible to keep up with calls, which typically spike when changes are made in federal unemployment benefits.

The agency was braced for calls after last Tuesday's announcement that federal unemployment benefits will be cut this month because the number of new claims fell below a federal threshold.

The number of weeks of federal benefits for newly unemployed workers was cut from 20 to 14. Lawmakers reduced basic state unemployment benefits from 26 to 20 weeks last year.

"When you look at attempted calls over a period of months, you can see the number of calls the agency gets is staggering," Arwood said. "The phone system will not handle that amount of traffic.

"There's no conceivable way within the budget(ed) staffing plan to alleviate that issue."

'Impossible to call them'


Charles Ueberroth said he w



From The Detroit News: [link to www.detroitnews.com]
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 01:41 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
Makes sense. Since there are no jobs locally, they are just collecting cheques like the unemployed.
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 01:45 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
good.
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 01:45 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
lemme get this straight...

"The 432 layoffs will save about $35 million annually"

so, these people at the unemployment office make on average 81000 a year?? WTF?
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 01:47 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
"The number peaked at 537,000 in June 2009. As of Aug. 31, there were 167,348 workers receiving jobless benefits in Michigan."




gotta love this part, you know, the part where when you move to the tent city, they stop counting you.....
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 01:49 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
bump
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 01:50 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
HERES A LINK TO MICH HOMES SELLING FOR 1800 DOLLARS AND UP..YA..

[link to www.hudhomestore.com (secure)]
NOT EVEN THE CHINESE BANKS WHAT THESE!
PravdaDemocrat

User ID: 19228212
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09/18/2012 01:51 AM

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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
lemme get this straight...

"The 432 layoffs will save about $35 million annually"

so, these people at the unemployment office make on average 81000 a year?? WTF?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 16678904


Welcome to government...
the BENEFITS are half the salary.
Mystic

User ID: 1520759
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09/18/2012 01:51 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
this is happening in our state too and for the dept of social services (food stamps/medicaid).

Through attrition, we've lost 1/2 our staff and because of the economy we've tripled our case loads.

No one at the gov't level will come out and say the above so, it leaves clients angry at the lack of communication, long lines, too long to process (as comparing to the past), and not able to talk with a live person.
_______________________________________
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 5529768
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09/18/2012 01:52 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
lemme get this straight...

"The 432 layoffs will save about $35 million annually"

so, these people at the unemployment office make on average 81000 a year?? WTF?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 16678904


no danger do staff there make that salary get real.
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 01:53 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
lemme get this straight...

"The 432 layoffs will save about $35 million annually"

so, these people at the unemployment office make on average 81000 a year?? WTF?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 16678904


no danger do staff there make that salary get real.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 5529768


wha?

no, no danger do!
cartographica

User ID: 23710111
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09/18/2012 01:56 AM

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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
so, these people at the unemployment office make on average 81000 a year?? WTF?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 16678904


Very, very doubtful. Having worked in State Gov (other state) before, I'd expect their budget figures are total expenses, not just staff salary. This means that it also covers office overhead (computers, phones, email services, etc), cost of mandatory training classes for various things, cost of management staff time related to managing them, cost of HR staff related to them, insurance benefits, etc. Also, you have to figure that some of the managers may make a bit more than that, but the front line workers will make considerably less.
"Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things" - Waldo Tobler, the first law of geography, 1970
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 03:09 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
Lol.. the irony.. they get out from behind the counter, and wait in their own lines.
JimBomB

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09/18/2012 05:46 AM

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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
91fun
fun68
Self delusion can be a grand thing!
MitakuyeOyasin!
TPTB ARE THE MACHINE [link to youtu.be]
[link to youtu.be]
Renegade (Me too)

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09/18/2012 08:25 AM

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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
Makes sense. Since there are no jobs locally, they are just collecting cheques like the unemployed.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1445731


I agree. A lot of government employees need to be layed off.
Who is John Galt?
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 09:39 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
Michigan and Detroit are turning out just like California... broke and sunk.
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 09:43 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
I can't stand to even look at those two.....
Anonymous Coward
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09/18/2012 09:51 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
For Every $1 Added to the Economy, Obama Added More Than $3 in Debt

Since Obama has taken office ….
[through Q2 2012 for comparative purposes]

–> For every $1 added to the economy, we’ve added more than $3 in debt

–> added $5.23 trillion in debt vs. $1.68 trillion to the economy
–> 50% increase in debt vs. 12% increase in economic output

Total Public Debt:

$10,626T [Jan 20, 2009]
$15,856T [Jun 30, 2012]

–> $5.23 trillion increase in debt

[source: Treasury Dept]

GDP

$13,923T [Q1 2009]
$15,606T [Q2 2012]

–> $1.68 trillion increase in GDP

[source: BEA]
Anonymous Coward
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United States
09/18/2012 10:36 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
Those 800 employees would be enough if they did their damn jobs!

Most Gov workers these days are lazy and feel entitled... too many chiefs!
Sickandtired
User ID: 17058124
United States
09/18/2012 10:40 AM
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Re: Jobless feel pain as state cuts staff at unemployment offices
Those 800 employees would be enough if they did their damn jobs!

Most Gov workers these days are lazy and feel entitled... too many chiefs!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 7763598


Yeah, what do you do, not your job title, what do you actually do?

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