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State agency prepping for job cuts

Dec 18, 2014

State Capitol
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Human Services said it is eliminating jobs because of a $7.5 million dollar budget cut.

According to spokesman Bob Wheaton, the department has notified employee unions.

Wheaton said it is too soon to know the net reduction in jobs or the total number of layoffs.

"There certainly will end up being some people who are laid off," he said. "But we're hoping it will be as close to zero as possible."

Wheaton said it has been possible to plan because the $7.5 million budget cut was approved by lawmakers in June. He said the department has been using partial hiring freezes, departures, transfers, and efficiencies to minimize job loss.

Wheaton said a priority has been to not cut case workers. "We're doing all we can to minimize the impact on services that our clients are receiving directly from field workers in their local communities," he said.

The department has 11,400 employees. Wheaton did not know how many fewer employees there will be after the budget cut has been fully implemented.

Virginia Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom