@NCCapitol

NC's long-term jobless lose unemployment checks

Posted July 1, 2013

— The decision of North Carolina lawmakers to cut the amount and length of state unemployment benefits took effect Sunday, stripping federally funded checks from the state's 71,000 long-term jobless.

The U.S. Labor Department says another 100,000 will be cut off in the coming months.

The reduced benefits and smaller increases in business taxes are the state's cure for repaying Washington $2.5 billion borrowed to pay state unemployment claims that exploded during the recession. The reduced state benefits have the effect of making North Carolina the first to cut off a federal unemployment compensation program for the long-term jobless.

The plan's supporters say it'll save businesses more than $400 million by paying back the billions three years early. Opponents say Republican lawmakers and Gov. Pat McCrory should have waited until January, after the federal benefits expire.

Bill sponsor Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, said the state's unemployment fund was not designed to pay long-term benefits.

"What we are trying to do is put it back to its original, intended purpose," he said. "So that it will be available, it will be solvent for the next group of unemployed people in the state of North Carolina."

Long-term jobless benefits cutoff Protesters decry long-term jobless benefits cutoff

Democratic congressmen David Price and G.K. Butterfield expressed disappointment Monday with the decision that cut off benefits.

"This is not politics as usual," Price said in a statement. "North Carolina is the only state in the country losing extended federal benefits because of the General Assembly and Gov. McCrory’s decision to punish people who have lost jobs through no fault of their own. It is one of the most extreme and damaging acts I have seen in my time in government."

"I am deeply troubled that the state government has terminated the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program," Butterfield said in a statement. "I continue to urge Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly to reverse this decision."

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan also criticized the measure.

"Our state's unemployment insurance debt is not new, and legislators in Raleigh have had plenty of time to address the issue," she said in a statement. "It's disappointing that they've chosen to do so in a way that is not only unbalanced and detrimental to our state's recovery but will also still result in tax hikes."

Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers declined to comment, saying the move was a state decision.

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  • tarheelfan41 Jul 5, 3:14 p.m.

    Whaaat? You mean after looking for a job, any job, doing anything for 40 hours a week in week one, in week two, in week three, in week four, in week five in week six, in week seven, in week eight, you could not find one single job anywhere? 320 hours of intense job hunting applying, interviewing, networking, cold calling, responding to ads in the paper, on the internet, and through friends you could not find one single thing that will pay you? Time to do a self evaluation as something is wrong with YOU. Now, you have completed LESS than 1/3 of the time allotted for you to secure employment. Now go out and spend 50 hours a week applying with every business in the county. I KNOW there are companies hiring. I've talked with fellow businessmen LOOKING for good employees. Go at it for 8 more weeks. That's an additional 400hrs of job seeking. Still cannot find anything at all? Suggestion: TAKE A BATH! You must a funk smell about you. Now you need to start applying 7 days a week from 7am to 7

  • Jul 2, 4:11 p.m.

    Clear YET? -junkmail5

    Apparently YOUR not!

  • junkmail5 Jul 2, 3:07 p.m.

    Then WHY do we owe $2.5 billion dollars borrowed for unemployment claims?- watertownertwon

    Did you not understand the first 6 times I explained this to you?

    STATE benefits. The normal 26 weeks.

    That's why.

    The EXTENDED benefits HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DEBT.

    Because those are 100% FEDERALLY funded.

    Do you understand YET?

    What? So as long as we continue to accrue debt to the federal government for paying the extended benefits than as long as we don't pay this debt than we aren't the ones paying for it- 68_dodge

    ... what?

    We're not accruing any new debt at all.

    And again, NONE of the debt relates to the EXTENDED benefits.

    At all.

    How can this POSSIBLY be this hard for you people to grasp?

    Normal 26 weeks= State benefits. Paid by the state. If we run short from undertaxing then we borrow from the feds, and THAT is where this debt comes from.

    EXTENDED benefits= Federal. 100% paid for by the feds. $0.00 of debt to the state for these.

    Clear YET?

    Wow.

  • junkmail5 Jul 2, 3:04 p.m.

    Multiple small increases on businesses add up to be large especially for a small business.- watertowertown

    We're not discussing "multiple" increases.

    we are discussing this one.

    Which is 6 CENTS per day.

    I don't believe you run a business of any kind given how many times you've been wrong about the most fundamental elements of it.

    And if you think 6 cents a day will break your "business" it wasn't much of one anyway.

    We had to come up with a way to repay to get this behind us.
    watertowertown

    See, this is another example-

    No we didn't have to "come up with a way"

    there's a way automatically built into the system.

    The businesses who UNDERpaid for years and years would pay a bit more for 5 years.

    Then it'd be repaid.

    And UI benefits wouldn't get cut at all. Let alone by 30-40% permanently.

  • Jul 2, 2:35 p.m.

    This "smaller" increase in bussiness taxes has a LARGE effect on bussiness- watertowertown

    yeah, not really.

    it's an increase of $21 per employee. Per year.

    That's an extra $1.75 a MONTH per employee. Or less than 6 cents PER DAY.

    If 6 cents per day per employee is a HUGE burden your business model isn't very good to begin with.
    junkmail5

    Multiple small increases on businesses add up to be large especially for a small business. Since you have NO knowlege of starting or running a business then you don't realize that. Walk the walk if you wish to talk the talk, JACK!

  • 68_dodge_polara Jul 2, 2:35 p.m.

    "Then WHY do we owe $2.5 billion dollars borrowed for unemployment claims? Read those again until YOU understand what 100% means."

    What? So as long as we continue to accrue debt to the federal government for paying the extended benefits than as long as we don't pay this debt than we aren't the ones paying for it? Is this the logic your using? I'm finally getting it, I'm seeing the failed logic here. The spin meter just went off the charts!

  • Jul 2, 2:29 p.m.

    "The extended benefits, which are 100% federally funded, have NOTHING TO DO with the debt we owe." -junkmail5

    So you finally admit we do owe this debt which has been my point all along. We had to come up with a way to repay to get this behind us.

  • junkmail5 Jul 2, 2:26 p.m.

    Where is your PROOF that these cuts are forever?
    watertowertown

    THE TEXT OF THE ACTUAL LAW.

    Do you just not read things the first 5 times someone posts them?

    If the intent was to make the cuts to pay off the debt then the cuts would only last until the debt was paid.

    they'd expire at the end of that.

    Examples of temporary cuts, which have expiration dates, would be the Bush tax cuts... or the temporary cut to the SS tax that expired Jan 1 of this year.

    The actual law for the UI changes contains no expiration. They are permanent cuts.

  • Jul 2, 2:24 p.m.

    "Because they're paid 100% by the Feds." junkmail

    Then WHY do we owe $2.5 billion dollars borrowed for unemployment claims? Read those again until YOU understand what 100% means.

  • junkmail5 Jul 2, 2:24 p.m.

    This "smaller" increase in bussiness taxes has a LARGE effect on bussiness- watertowertown

    yeah, not really.

    it's an increase of $21 per employee. Per year.

    That's an extra $1.75 a MONTH per employee. Or less than 6 cents PER DAY.

    If 6 cents per day per employee is a HUGE burden your business model isn't very good to begin with.

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