East St. Louis Unemployment Office Closes Due To Budget Cuts

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EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KPLR)-- Federal budget cuts force the closing of the unemployment office in East St. Louis.

Effective Friday, no services will be offered for city residents.  It's a hard pill to swallow for many in the financially-strapped city.

State officials announced the closing in January.  The East St. Louis office is one of seven sites in Illinois that will no longer offer unemployment services.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security is almost 100 percent federally funded.  So budget reductions in Washington are directly tied to the future of this state agency.   Officials with the agency say the closing is not connected to the sequestration. Instead it’s tied to falling unemployment insurance claims.

One man had no idea he couldn't get help at the East St. Louis office.  FOX 2 told him about the closing.

The closet state unemployment office is in Belleville.   A location the mayor says could be tough for some people to get to.    And closing the seven offices will force 192 people out of a job.  Though state officials say they'll be considered for other state jobs.