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S.C. Unemployment Agency Closing 16 Offices, Plans To Fire 80 People

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File photo of unemployment line. (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of unemployment line. (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP/Getty Images)

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — People who want in-person help with their unemployment benefits may have a longer drive starting Feb. 15.

The Department of Employment and Workforce is consolidating its regional offices, reducing their numbers from 56 to 40.

Agency spokeswoman Adrienne Fairwell says clients can still get services online or by calling a toll-free number. But if they want face-to-face help, they may need to go to a different office. For example, those now getting services in Allendale must instead go to Barnwell. And those in Chester will need to go to Lancaster.

The agency says a loss of federal funds led to the closings. The agency laid off 55 people last October and cited plans then to cut an additional 80.

The agency says affected clients have been notified by mail.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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