Thousands of federal employees sign up for unemployment

by: Lori Geary Updated:

COBB COUNTY, Ga. - New numbers in from the Georgia Department of Labor show almost 10,000 furloughed federal employees have signed up for unemployment benefits, almost 1,000 of them on Friday alone.

The Cobb/Cherokee County office has been one of the busiest statewide.

"This could drag on for weeks, you never know the way they're butting heads over this," said Dan Grohs who is an IRS employee.

Grohs was in line at the unemployment office in Kennesaw. He's worked for the IRS for 10 years and said he knows it's going to be tight for a while.

"I don't know about a deal in the works. It goes back and forth. You hear one thing and they say another. It's the game they play," Grohs said.

Stephanie Drummond works for a federal contractor. She said she's heard nothing about getting back pay once a deal is reached in Washington.

"I'm hoping they'll find some way that we will (get back pay) but it looks like we won't," Drummond said.

She said the not knowing is the most difficult part. Drummond said she was hoping lawmakers would have reached a deal by now.

"That's probably why I waited. I didn't want to come down here. I was hoping they would make a decision soon so that I would be back to work," Drummond said.

A spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Labor said almost all of the federal furloughed workers will get the maximum payment of $330 a week. If they receive back pay once the furlough ends, they'll have to repay the unemployment benefit.

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