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Employees cut at unemployment office

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)-- Long lines and larger than normal crowds are causing frustration at Wilmington’s unemployment office.

Kenneth Brown has been having issues at Wilmington's unemployment office for some time.

“You know frustrated when the help is here,” said Brown. “The government has provided the help for the people.”

He says that help can be tough to come by.

The Employment Security Commission office has lost more than a dozen employees in the past six months, effectively cutting their staff in half.

Cuts Sherwood Southerland says are likely here to stay.

“We have to be more efficient with our resources,” said Southerland. ”Budgets within both the public and private sector aren't expanding greatly and so to tell you that we'll be doing a lot of hiring in the future, I would not go that far.”

Southerland says shrinking budgets and larger workloads mean their staff is being forced to do more with less.

For example, customers to do things like use their self-service computers to resolve their unemployment concerns.

“On certain days it just comes down to x number of staff versus x number of customers,” he said. “Versus x number of hours in the day and we're just trying to do the best we can.”

Brown says outdated equipment makes this fix less than optimal.

“No that's a bad idea, that's going to be more people frustrated the computers are dinosaurs,” he said.

Southerland understands the frustration.

“Absolutely I can understand, it’s frustrating to me if I try to go to a place of business, if it is something I’ve intended to do or someone I’ve intended to speak with," he said.

With increased workloads they say some days it’s just not possible to serve all of the customers that come through their doors.

Unfortunately management says it looks like these cuts are here to stay.

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Brown said

Brown said "The government has provided the help for the people." I have a novel idea - GET A JOB and help yourself. Please don't tell me there aren't jobs out there - I see help wanted signs in windows all over.

Thanks, McCrory!

Yes, kick people off of unemployment and lay off ESC employees because Gov. McNutty and I want "JOBS,JOBS,JOBS"!

VOTE GOP, ya morons!

Where is the money?

This is a good story. With all of the stories about the Department of Commerce going private...is this the result? Many of the positions that were lost is because the WIA program was contracted to RESCARE. At what cost? What is RESCARE's overhead? How many people has RESCARE put to work? How much money is the program spending? Has it become just another social program?

Rescare landed a federal

Rescare landed a federal grant to put people to work in this tri-county area. It's a matter of public record - Somewhere north of $ONE MILLION DOLLARS+++. They came in and replaced people that already had jobs running the Workforce Investment Act program. As is the case with all big government spending, only a small portion of the money is actually earmarked to be spent on the unemployed. The majority of the money goes to overhead, mostly salaries and company profit. What's even worse, after 9 mos of wasting taxpayer's hard earned bucks, Rescare has not come close to attaining the goals they were expected to achieve. Very few, if any, tri-county residents have benefited from this tremendous amount of money being pushed through the system. This nonsense must stop!