Inslee, lawmakers focus on workforce amid tech layoffs and shortage in other industries

Amazon is laying off 18,000 employees. This exceeds his 10,000 that was widely predicted a few weeks ago.

In an interview with KIRO 7, Gov. Jay Inslee, a Washington Democrat, said he had not heard from the company how many affected workers were in the state.

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“Obviously, we want to help people who are in transition in their lives to some extent,” Inslee said. “The good news is that Washington State still has a strong economy. We want to keep them here and find another opportunity.”

Amazon’s layoffs are the biggest in its history and the latest in the tech industry.

KIRO 7 asked Inslee whether he sees a recession coming or whether the state should be cautious with its budget over the next two years.

“You can’t predict the future of the economy. I don’t think we should say a recession is coming because it continues to be stronger than people expected,” Inslee said. .

The governor said the proposed budget for the next two years includes a $2 billion reserve in case state revenues take a hit.

“We have a very stable budget that I have proposed that has significant reserves available in the event of a recession,” Inslee said.

While the tech industry is cutting headcount, many other employers are desperate for workers.

State legislators from both parties have taken a renewed focus on support.

“We are suffering from labor shortages in both quantity and quality in all aspects of our lives,” said Rep. JT Wilcox, R-House Minority Leader.

Rep. Laurie Jinkins (House Democratic Speaker) said:

Legislators told reporters on Thursday that they want to make it easier for behavioral problem professionals licensed in other states to get jobs here, and the new police training will be closer to where incoming officers live and work. He said he was proposing a facility.

They also want new training and apprenticeship programs.

Senator John Brown, Republican Senate Minority Leader, said:

Senator Andy Billig (Democrat Majority Leader) pointed to the Washington State Ferry program. The program created entry-level jobs just to build a pipeline for new workers.

“We have to rethink how we do this. We have new problems and we need new solutions,” said Billig.

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