What you need to know about a possible merger between state and federal unemployment insurance agencies
The state unemployment agency is negotiating a merger with a major federal agency that oversees unemployment insurance, the Department of Labor, a move that could significantly alter the nature of the state’s unemployment insurance program.
Dwayne M. Smith, an executive vice president of the Illinois Employment and Training Commission, said in a statement Wednesday that the agency is exploring a merger.
The state agency has been dealing with a surge in unemployment since last year’s severe financial crisis.
The department is under pressure to maintain its role as a leader in the recovery.
Smith said the state agency will “continue to operate in its current form” and will not “redeem benefits for any individual.”
He said that, after evaluating the potential merger, the agency “has made the determination that it is in the best interest of all stakeholders to explore the possibility of merging with the Department.”
The state’s employment agency is the state equivalent of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The U.T.C.A. was formed in 1948 and has been a leader for the recovery and rebuilding of the workforce.
Since then, the unemployment agency has provided unemployment insurance benefits to more than 13 million people, including about 2 million people on unemployment insurance for work experience.
The agency also provides unemployment insurance to thousands of other job seekers.
Smith would not provide details on the merger, saying that the state government and the UT.
D.C., which is led by Gov.
Bruce Rauner, would “work to inform the process.”
The U.D., however, said it was considering a merger and that Smith’s comments indicate that the governor and the agency were discussing the possibility.
In a statement, Smith said that the two agencies would “continue working together to help our people find jobs and rebuild their lives.”
Cs. have been in talks for years to work together, but the UD.
A., which has faced criticism from some state lawmakers for its treatment of job applicants, has been resistant to joining a merger since the state was hit hard by the Great Recession.
C.s. have also faced criticism for their handling of job seekers and the lack of adequate training.
Smith, who is a former state labor secretary, is the only current state employee with any experience working for the agency.
Smith’s statement said that he has not been asked by the UUCC or the governor to discuss the merger.
It did not provide a timeline for the talks, and a spokeswoman for the governor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The state unemployment office received $4.2 billion in state aid last year.
The $1.1 billion in federal aid to the state came from the Supplemental Security Income program, which provides assistance to workers and their families.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.