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Tom Betlach
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Arizona DES Director Tom Betlach to step down June 3

Tom Betlach (University of Arizona Photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Economic Security announced that Director Tom Betlach will be stepping down from his role on June 3.

Betlach had originally come out of retirement to take the position back in March for 75 days.

“From the beginning, Tom Betlach’s service was for the term of 75 days and he will be returning to private life after that,” DES told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“[The Arizona Department of Economic Security] and the Governor’s Office are thankful that Mr. Betlach agreed to serve for 75 days and are appreciative of the work he has done for Arizona.”

The announcement comes after Gov. Doug Ducey said at a press conference earlier this week that if Betlach wanted to remain in the position longer than the 75 days, he could. Betlach was not in attendance.

Ducey added he felt Betlach was the perfect person for the job.

“Tom Betlach is among one of the finest public servants in the Arizona state government, if not the finest servant in Arizona government,” Ducey said in the press conference. “He is doing a great job along with his team under the most difficult of circumstances. It is not perfect, there have been delays.

“This team is going to be working on Sunday and Monday, Memorial Day, of this week to continue to get the benefits out. And I realize the frustration. I have read and heard the voicemails so we want to get these dollars to the people that have them coming.”

The state Office of Economic Opportunity on Thursday reported that seasonally adjusted nonfarm unemployment in April rate rose to 12.6%, up from 6.1% in March and 4.8% in April 2019.

The April report said the state’s economy lost 283,300 jobs, nearly all in the private sector and with nearly all industries recording jobs losses.

The state Department of Economic Security is reporting new unemployment claims that extend beyond the April report released Thursday.

This month alone, the department has logged more than 105,000 additional claims, meaning the unemployment rate could be above 15% now.

It is not known who might fill the position after June 3.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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