Utah has an entire governmental department known as the Department of Workforce Services which is supposed to be a state run employment agency. Other states have similar departments with different names. With the economy struggling and unemployment high, why would I want to get rid of this department? Allow me to explain.
A few years ago I had just returned from serving a two year mission, I found myself without a job. I had a good job before my mission which was promised to me when I returned. Unfortunately, a slow in business made it impossible for them to hire me back. I quickly set out on the task to find a new job.
Sevier County, being a rural area had a limited amount of available jobs. I went to the department of workforce services to see what jobs were available. They had an office with about thirty workers. Two people were actually at the front helping people that came in, and customer service was anything but first rate.
Most of the people were in there to get paperwork signed which said they were looking for a job, so they could stay on unemployment. They offered me unemployment, but I refused. A man in the back pulled me aside and offered some friendly advice. He told me if I was looking for a job, this was not the best way to find it. I would be better off going from door to door and finding out who is hiring.
I next went to the local LDS unemployment service, which was staffed by just two volunteers, and they helped me find a job within a matter of days. Once again, a privately run volunteer organization proved far superior to a government bureaucracy. I was dumb kid age 21, but even then, I could recognize what an ineffective waste of tax payer money Workforce Services was. Its actual purpose seemed to be to provide justification for people to collect long term unemployment.
Not much has changed since that time. Last year, Utah’s Department of Workforce Services received $68.4 in state funds. The rest of its budget (a total of 90%) came from federal subsidies. Meaning, part of your federal tax dollars are going toward propping up my state’s epic failure of a department. In getting rid of this department, Utah would rid itself of over 10% of its 623 million dollar budget deficit, and save the Federal government nine times that amount.
It would also likely lower unemployment and create economic growth. Governor Herbert has in recent year cut the budget for the department, but with such a large budget gap, why even keep a department which does more harm than good? At the very least this department should be scaled back to a shell of its former self.