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Employment Security Dept. Plans 100s of Layoffs
Illinois' Department of Employment Security plans to close seven offices and cut nearly 200 positions. An IDES spokesperson blamed a lack of federal funding for the closures and 192-position staff reductions. IDES is nearly 100 percent federally funded.
The offices in Centralia, DeKalb, East St. Louis, Galesburg, Jacksonville, Mattoon, and Murphysboro are expected to close in mid-March.
"Although we haven't gotten formal notice from the department that there will be layoffs, we have made a demand to bargain over the impact of those layoffs, given that they were announced by the director of employment security," AFSCME Council 31 Regional Director Kent Beauchamp said.
The amount of funding the Illinois Department of Employment Security receives is in part tied to the volume of unemployment insurance claims. Due to falling claims volume thanks to an improving economy, the department may see funding reduced by about $11 million. To address the challenge, IDES has already consolidated 10 offices.