Business

Improving economy may hurt long-term unemployed

Posted April 24, 2012

— A combination of improving economic statistics may conspire to end unemployment benefits for some North Carolinians who have been out of work the longest, the state Division of Employment Security determined Tuesday.

Up to 18,000 people who have been collecting extended benefits could lose them in the coming weeks, DES spokesman Larry Parker said.

A law passed in 2009 allowed for six weeks of benefits beyond the standard in states where the unemployment rate is at or above 8.5 percent. The most recent data, from February, showed most counties in North Carolina still posted numbers about that threshold, but Wake, Orange and Durham counties had slipped below that mark.

In the past few months, the Republican-led legislature and Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat, have attempted to find a way to continue the extended the benefits.

At one point last year, nearly 50,000 people were receiving the benefits. In January, the governor signed an executive order that kept the money flowing to North Carolina.

Parker says, under the current Department of Labor formula, there is no political solution.

DES: Data may have leaked

The Division of Employment Security also notified about 7,000 check recipients Tuesday that their personal information was exposed in a software error. Letters sent to verify unemployment applicants, which list names and social security numbers, were sent to incorrect addresses, opening up the possibility that information could be compromised, Parker said.

The software glitch happened between March 21 and April 10 and has been remedied. Parker said individuals at risk would be notified. 

69 Comments

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  • aspenstreet1717 Apr 27, 8:11 a.m.

    Looks like they're going to have start working again.

  • domotamasi Apr 25, 4:40 p.m.

    I get the drift. From many of these posters if you are unemployed and on UI, you must be a slacker, no-load, lazy bum. Anticipating the possibility of being laid off, we took steps to cut as many expenses as we could including refinancing our modest home to lower payments. At one point both the wife and I were unemployed. The insurance helped us through a very rough time. It's not over, but the job search continues in earnest every day with many false starts on potential jobs. If being unemployed and drawing unemployment is such a cake walk, come walk in my shoes for a while.

  • Questioning Apr 25, 9:12 a.m.

    Some of the comments seem to imply that folks living on unemployment benefits are living the high life and raking it in.
    A relative earned 8.00 an hour/ about $1200 a month before she was layed off. Now her UI benefits are only $186 a week. That is $744 a month. People can't live on that. That won't pay a mortgage,or rent, electric, medicenes and groceries. So stop thinking that everyone is having a good time while using the benefits. I had a good paying job 3 years ago. I was layed off and was on UI for 7 months. I took the first job offered (receptionist). I earned more while drawing UI than I do now!

  • lynnelangston Apr 25, 8:33 a.m.

    Amazed at some of these remarks. I was laid off after 11 years of steady employment, before that job years steady. I have a great work history and ethic. I have tried even getting a part time job at a grocery store and not even a call back. I am not waiting for that high paying job I am waiting for ANY job. So unless you know for a fact the unemployed don't want to work you might want to meet them first. And BTW I have been out of work for 2 years now, have sent out a ridiculous amount of resume's and had interviews and nothing. I was told by one manager that for every job posted they get 40 + apps and resumes.

  • Uhavenoclu Apr 24, 7:52 p.m.

    It boils down to one thing..EGO,many of the unemployed used to work in high tech,factory good paying jobs,and they are very picky and do not want to go work at walmart or dollar tree,gas stations,cleaning toilets.So they stay unemployed.
    This is a very EGO state.

  • warbirdlover Apr 24, 7:33 p.m.

    Wonder what percentage of the unemployed have no marketable job skills?

  • sceeter Apr 24, 7:29 p.m.

    I was laid off from a job that I worked for almost 2 years. Prior to that job, I had been laid off nearly a year. I've gone from earning $1700 net per month to RECEIVING $960 net a month on Unemployment. I do not qualify for Medicaid, I have to earn/receive < $475/m to get that. My Cobra was $567 per month. I have no insurance. I am, however, on Stamps.. bless it. I have 1 child. I have a mortgage and bills, like all of you & my savings (yeah, I tried to build with medical issues) is dwindling really fast. I have had 4 interviews since January, have one set for Thursday.. NO OFFERS as of yet. ANYONE can find themselves w/o a job as quick as a snap of 2 fingers together. Sometimes, one can find themselves laid off from more than 1 in a short period of time. BTW, prior to the nearly 1 year layoff.. I had worked rather steadily for nearly 30 years, since I was 15.

  • warbirdlover Apr 24, 7:26 p.m.

    I live in Moore County between Southern Pines & Vass. Everyone I know has a job. There are jobs out there. It seems like the unemployed don't want a job, they want a position.

  • sunshine1040 Apr 24, 7:06 p.m.

    How many of you unemployed have tried joining the Army they pay you?

  • sunshine1040 Apr 24, 7:04 p.m.

    Hey why get a job when you can get just as much by sitting at home No transportation cost do not need to buy work clothes and just draw that check while someone in the house has a part time job an get all that goverment aid EIC food stamps section 8 housing free daycare(more at four) and food stamps and have another child even more goverment aid oh yea medicad will pay the Dr bills

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