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The Employment Development Department (EDD) is part of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency of the executive branch of the State of California. EDD offers a variety of services to millions of Californians under the Job Service, Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, Workforce Investment, and Labor Market Information programs. As California's largest tax collection agency, EDD also handles the audit and collection of payroll taxes and maintains employment records for more than 17 million California workers. One of the largest California state departments, EDD has nearly 10,000 employees providing services at more than 400 locations and an annual budget of nearly $12 billion.

Employment Development Department in SupervolcanoEdit

When Louise Ferguson lost her job after the ramen noddle importer closed its American operation, she was forced to go to the Torrance offices of the California Employment Development Department to collect her unemployment benefits. The office was a dreary place with uncomfortable grayish blue plastic seating and a grayish brown linoleum floor. There was insufficient seating so as the office waiting area filled, people had to stand. Every half hour a clerk with a bullhorn would announce that those with an appointment for that half hour should line up. There would be a rush to the various benefits clerks and those standing would take the vacated seats. The office would then fill up again with the next set of people and again latecomers would be forced to stand.

Ferguson was required to produce evidence of her active job search every two weeks before she would receive her benefits. The clerk would carefully record this, both on the computerized system and, given the erratic availability of power since the Yellowstone Supervolcano eruption, on a file card. After he would either press a key on the computer and print out a check or use a mechanical gadget that dated back to the seventies if the power was out.[1]

  1. All Fall Down, pgs. 235-240, HC.

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