NYS Dept. of Labor struggles to help jobless

BROOKLYN - Following a tidal wave of layoffs and job cuts, the Brooklyn office of the state Department of Labor has been swamped with people applying for unemployment insurance and asking for help in finding jobs.

?People are on edge because they are under a great deal of stress economically and socially,? says Khalil Rashid, of the New York State Department of Labor.

According to the latest statistics, there were more than 65,000 New York residents collecting unemployment in October 2008 - a nearly 40 percent increase from the previous year.

A manager at the Brooklyn office of the Department of Labor says he does not think the economy has bottomed out yet, and he does not expect an upswing until next year. He is hoping, however, that the new administration of President-elect Barack Obama will tackle unemployment early on.

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