Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Bush economy may throw Southwest Virginians out of work

Salt Lick hates to hear of people losing jobs, but this story perfectly illustrates the tension between conscientious state managers and the taxpayers' right to their own salaries.

Low jobless rate means VEC cuts

Because the state's economy has improved and its jobless rate has remained low for some time, hundreds of employees for the Virginia Employment Commission could soon be looking for work and filing claims for unemployment insurance.

The impacts for Southwest Virginia are not yet clear. But Bruce Johannessen, manager of the VEC's Roanoke office, said he "very well could lose some staff." Johannessen said that prospect upsets him, both because he values his staff and because he believes services will suffer.

"I don't like the idea of compromising services for the folks in Virginia one bit," Johannessen said. "And we're going to be hurt and people are going to be affected by reduced services."