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@NCCapitol

NC employment agency's accuracy rate continues to lag

Posted March 13, 2013

— The state Division of Employment Security continues to trail the rest of the nation in determining who is eligible for unemployment benefits, according to new figures from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The state was accurate in only 12 percent of cases for initial eligibility, down from 27 percent a year ago, federal records show. For continued eligibility, it was accurate 47 percent of the time, up from 39 percent at the end of 2011.

The Labor Department's acceptable level is 75 percent.

“There are systemic issues having to deal with how the department is run and how we can empower people to do a better job at customer service," said Dale Folwell, who was named Wednesday to head the Division of Employment Security.

"Any opportunity we have to cut out waste fraud and abuse is a dollar that can be truly spent on those who are unemployed in this state," said Folwell, a former House member from Forsyth County.

Current lawmakers said the numbers are alarming.

"We've dropped the ball, so we need to clean things up," said Rep. Garland Pierce, D-Scotland.

"We're going to look and see how we can improve that program and make sure that the people who deserve unemployment benefits are getting it without fear of fraud and abuse," said Rep. Tom Murry, R-Wake.

Division of Employment Security, JobLink center New Employment Security chief vows to attack 'systemic issues'

The General Assembly recently passes legislation that slashes unemployment benefits to help pay off $2.5 billion borrowed from the federal government for jobless benefits during the recession. The new law also makes it more difficult for people to collect unemployment.

Murry said a "lack of confidence" in the unemployment system made it difficult for lawmakers to consider allowing the status quo to continue.

"If we have a program integrity issue, I think we need to fix that first and make sure the people who deserve the benefits are getting it," he said.

Pierce said, however, that the two issues should have been looked at separately.

"The citizens should not be penalized for the mismanagement," he said.

12 Comments

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  • Naysayer Mar 14, 2013

    They need to gut that group and flush out all the folks from the Easley/"Good Old Bev" days.

  • goldenosprey Mar 14, 2013

    Sure, blame it on poor management and practices. Typical.

    What knowledge do you have of Commerce and DES?

  • DoingMyBest Mar 14, 2013

    "The DES is woefully underfunded and understaffed and that has led to great dissatisfaction."

    Sure blame it on underfunding and under staffing. Could never be because of poor management and practices that need to be addressed. typical

  • goldenosprey Mar 14, 2013

    The DES is woefully underfunded and understaffed and that has led to great dissatisfaction. They are far behind other states in technology. Even their physical plant is a dinosaur of an old building. They were never staffed to completely meet the demands of the 2008 recession, except thru federal money which expired. Of course the republican GA of 2010 shunned the fed $, leaving it in its current mess as scapegoat.

  • computer trainer Mar 14, 2013

    Not enough of this housekeeping has been done yet. This is not even scraping the scab off.

  • Terkel Mar 13, 2013

    All this housecleaning is more than I hoped for!

  • Nancy Mar 13, 2013

    Maybe now all these audits and reports will get some traction and house cleaning in order to correct the fraud, abuse and waste. We've paid dearly for too long for ineptitude.

  • computer trainer Mar 13, 2013

    djofraleigh, how in the world can you say that Easley was PUNISHED?>> He could not practice law for a year??? Seriously! He stole so much money from the citizens of NC that he did NOT need to work! Oh yeah, I am sure that he missed the $1,000. Back AWAY from the Kool-aid!!

    Bout time they named a new Asst Sec for ESC! NOW, he needs to do something. That place is just a mess. They need to show a BUNCH of people the door. Starting with that keith guy in UE. He is a blow hard who tells you he is going to call you back and never does. I wish did not have to depnd on them for money right now.

  • DoingMyBest Mar 13, 2013

    " Who knows what the Republicans will do, but they axed unemployment, state run medicaid increases, and earned income credits already. The audit of Medicaid and Unemployment admi"

    Yep, done more in a few months than the Dems did in the last few decades. Keep up the good work.

  • westernwake1 Mar 13, 2013

    The state Division of Employment Security office is a complete disaster. They suffer from many issues including inept leadership, incompetent workers, and technology from the stone age.

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