HARTFORD - At least 360 state employees plan to retire in the face of thousands of possible layoffs.

That amount is more than was expected.

State lawmakers say they have to plug a $900 million budget hole by July 1, so the state needs to shed layers of middle managers.

Thousands who work at community colleges, courthouses, prisons, and the highway department are anxiously waiting to see if they'll find themselves out of a job.

While Gov. Dannel Malloy has not confirmed an exact number of layoffs beyond the retirements, he called the number "very, very substantial" this week, and added that state workers are professionals who understand the state's fiscal problems.

Some of the unions expect more than 2,000 state workers could potentially lose their jobs.