A bit of mixed news in this story. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency just pink-slipped 177 temporary workers, and has announced plans to let go of 225 more.
Jim Gibbons of Green Oak Township, Michigan is one such worker who has seen better days.
“We were told about 12 noon this last Monday by our department manager and it just hit every one of us like a ton of bricks,” he said. The next day at the office, he said, “It was like we were in a funeral home. Solemn, quiet, very little banter.”
Gibbons only got the job two years ago, following six consecutive months of unemployment himself. He believes, likely correctly, that his lack of seniority places him near the front of the firing line.
The department is arguing that the layoffs are a good sign, and that the reduction in jobless claims has left them overstaffed. Jobless claims have fallen considerably since the recession peak, so it’s understandable they have a smaller workload, but layoffs are still layoffs, even if it is at the unemployment office.