Employment Security furloughing 418 employees

OLYMPIA — The state Employment Security Department is furloughing or reducing hours for about half of its employees because of the federal government shutdown.

The Seattle Times reported Tuesday that 418 state employees will be furloughed and another 450 will work reduced hours.

The department, which gets 87 percent of its funding from the federal government, is using state dollars to pay the staff needed to process unemployment claims.

Hutchison said the department furloughed managers, human resource staff and fraud investigators, among others. She says that while Congress is likely to authorize back pay for furloughed federal employees, that appears unlikely to happen for state workers.

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