The state of Georgia owes the federal government 600 million dollars. It's money borrowed to pay out first time unemployment claims, which skyrocketed during the recession. Interest payments are coming due and could result in more job losses.
The Unemployment trust fund had to pay out a lot more that it took in from unemployment taxes during the recession. The fund borrowed from the federal government and later this year the first 6 million in interest will come due. Governor Deal's budget proposal calls for that 6 million to come out of the Department of Labor's budget. Labor Commissioner Mark Butler says that would mean cutting 100 jobs statewide in a program that assists with job search.
"This money is tied to the people that work in our offices. So we're trying to work with the governor's office to come up with a better plan so we don't effect that, because if we don't have people out in our offices around the state helping people get back to work then things aren't going to get better quicker."
Butler says he hopes the Trust fund will stop loosing money by the end of the year as the economy continues to improve. It only pays out first time jobless benefits.