Even though you might not have heard much about it these past few weeks, the sequester is still chopping away at federal funds. This week Washington state emergency unemployment benefits are being cut by almost 25 percent. Ross Reynolds spoke with Johnny Dwyer, one of the 40,ooo people being affected by these drastic reductions to unemployment benefits, about how he is coping and what he hopes for.
In the next couple of months, many employment office workers in the Northwest will join the unemployed. State labor agencies are having to make cutbacks in staffing. It's due to a combination of the economy getting better and federal budget cuts known as the “sequester” setting in.
Staffing at the local employment office usually moves in the exact opposite direction as the rest of the economy. When times are tough, unemployment rolls are booming.
Some Northwest cities and counties are exploring whether to use local or private money to keep their airport control towers open. By mid-June, the federal government plans to close the control towers at 13 small to medium sized airports across the region.
Last week the Department of Defense delayed anticipated furlough notices for civilian employees. The DOD said the two-week delay would allow it to analyze the impact of the federal budget sequester on its workforce.
For weeks you couldn’t seem to escape the word sequester and day by day the across-the-board spending cuts that went into effect are being felt. Most recently here in Washington state the closure of five airport control towers were announced, including the Tacoma Narrows Airport control tower. Ross Reynolds discussed the potential impacts of the closing of the Tacoma Narrows Airport tower with Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy.