Local News

State borrows money for unemployment fund

Posted February 12, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— The state Employment Security Commission borrowed $13 million from the federal government Thursday to help pay unemployment benefits.

The move was the first time in seven years the state has had to get a government loan to bolster its unemployment trust fund.

A sign outside of the JobLink Career Center. Loan needed to pay unemployment benefits

Nearly 400,000 North Carolinians were unemployed and seeking work in December – a record number. The number of unemployed jumped by 185,000 in 2008.

“We’re having some days where we pay out $26 million a day and those payouts will sometimes out pact collections,” said. David Clegg, deputy chairman of the state Employment Security Commission.

North Carolina's jobless rate was 8.7 percent in December, the highest rate in 25 years. About a third of the state's 100 counties reported at least 10 percent unemployment for that month, twice the number with double-digit unemployment in November.

“We’re paying benefits for about 400,000 and the wages in North Carolina are the highest in the southeast, which makes our benefit levels the highest in the southeast,” Clegg said.

The ESC has paid out $17 million in benefits over the past two days and will likely have to borrow more money next week, spokesman Larry Parker said.

People now receiving unemployment will not see any changes in their benefits, Clegg said.

Even in the recession, North Carolina’s labor force gets bigger every week. An estimated 500 people a day move to the state and many of them are looking for jobs, which puts more pressure on the system, Clegg said.


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  • ThinkChick Feb 13, 2009

    My business has two lazy people still filing for it after a WHOLE YEAR. Despite the fact they are responsible for unemployment, the ESC still finds in their favor. They are sitting around doing nothing and being paid while my taxes are going up and NC debt is rising.

  • cj1979 Feb 12, 2009

    Plenty of money to go around. What I could do with the $15K paid in federal taxes this year...ya'll enjoy.............

  • affirmativediversity Feb 12, 2009

    san4short posted, "...However, maybe you haven't noticed, but many have left the country already, so people will have to find someone else to blame except the one that really did this....so glad Bush is gone!"

    Unfortunately we're still paying for Interpretors in all our County DSS and Health Deparments, not to mention English/Spanish translation and printing of ALL state material, oh and how about those English as a Second Language teachers in public schools, we still have those don't we...hmmmm,

    but take heart because GW Bush (one of the BIGGEST AMNESTY for ILLEGALS supporters is GONE)...

    only one problem...what's the change?

    Did anyone else hear about President Obama's newest (today's) Executive Order...YUP...today President Obama signed an Executive Order stating...UNIONS GET FIRST DIBS ON ALL THE STIMULUS BILLIONS...YUP, UNIONS!!!!

    NOW THAT'S REALLY GOING TO HELP!!!! $13.00 a week, card check for union thugs and a BLANK TAXPAYER's CHECK!!!

    Change we can believe

  • affirmativediversity Feb 12, 2009

    san4short...you are looking at my comment from the point of view of someone who "wishes to obey and respect the law"...what part of the concept/word "illegal" are you able to reconcile with "law abiding"

    You are correct, anyone who respects the laws of the USA and takes the time and trouble to reinforce that respect by abiding by the immigration laws/policies and procedures do have all kinds of restrictions on what they may or may not be eligible for.

    BUT illegals, by their very lack of respect for our laws do not think those same "limitations" should apply to them AND in their own self serving, its all about me, you owe me way, they do it ILLEGALLY.

  • san4short Feb 12, 2009

    affirmativediversity "mep you are wrong...its actually very easy for illegals to apply for and receive UIB."

    Sorry, I disagree, when I first moved to NC, I had to apply for assistance because I wasn't able to find a job right away, my husband at that time didn't have his green card yet and however, my stepdaughter did. I was told they didn't count, you either had to be a citizen or a resident for 5 years to qualify for assistance, food stamps, whatever. Also, they are checking more and more with social security to make sure names and numbers are matching. I think people are just looking to blame the illegals for everything that's wrong with this country and the economy, which may be true in part. However, maybe you haven't noticed, but many have left the country already, so people will have to find someone else to blame except the one that really did this....so glad Bush is gone!

  • mep Feb 12, 2009

    affirmativediversity... you are probably right. I had some guy in Houston working a construction job with my Social Security number. Bet he did not have much difficulty getting unemployment benefits too. Either way, the stimulus money will find its way into the hands of illegals, then funneled out of our country. Construction and road crew companies can hire workers "contract labor", and not be required to check immigration status. They can do this, and not even pay minimum wage. This undercuts hard working Americans everywhere.

  • affirmativediversity Feb 12, 2009

    mep you are wrong...its actually very easy for illegals to apply for and receive UIB.

    Actually the majority of illegals DO NOT work "under the table" as you put it. They DO use stolen or false Social Security Numbers (usually issued or stolen from Puerto Rico number base).

  • EZeegoing Feb 12, 2009

    This borrowed money runs out in a week, what happens then ? And the following week ? Something is gonna crash.

  • mep Feb 12, 2009

    craziecrafter... your correct, it is very difficult for an illegal to receive unemployment benefits, unless they use a fraudulent social security number. But many would not chance getting caught. The real sticker is that the road crew and construction industry is filled with illegals, which will benefit greatly from the so-called stimulus package. Sad to think that a good chunk of the money we are borrowing from China will end up being spent in Mexico. Thank the Democrats for scrapping the immigration status check requirements for any company receiving stimulus money.

  • craziecrafter Feb 12, 2009

    I hope their line of credit with the feds is good. I'm sure it's going to be in the billons before it's over with. My husband's whole company was laid off Jan 1st.