More than 350 laid off from NC workforce agency

Oct. 11, 2013 @ 12:13 PM

The state agency that helps out-of-work North Carolinians find jobs has laid off more than 350 workers, according to a newspaper report.

The reductions are part of an extensive overhaul at the N.C. Division of Workforce Solutions, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported on Friday.

The employees had been temporary workers at the agency's 89 local unemployment offices throughout the state. They were hired beginning in 2009 to help people who lost their jobs as part of the recession.

The cutbacks happened between May and the end of September. According to director Roger Shackleford, the agency still employs 550 people and has reorganized 16 of its local offices so far, with about 30 more to go.

The overhaul was triggered by a reduction of about 25 percent, or nearly $25 million, in state and federal funding. It's due to a new state law that ended extended federal benefits for unemployed workers, reduced the maximum unemployment benefits a laid-off worker can receive by roughly one-third and lowered the maximum duration of benefits for workers who lost their jobs beginning July 1.

In August, North Carolina unemployment was 8.7 percent, tied for sixth-highest in the nation.