Local News

Drop in NC unemployment rate means drop in jobless benefits

Posted April 4, 2011

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— About 37,000 unemployed North Carolinians will lose their jobless benefits in two weeks, according to the state Employment Security Commission.

The ESC's extended benefits program kicks in after someone has exhausted regular unemployment benefits and all federal extensions. It lasts for 20 weeks and relies on a federal formula to determine eligibility. Because the statewide unemployment rate has declined in recent months, the federal government ordered North Carolina to stop providing extended benefits as of April 16.

"We have no choice. We have no choice in this," ESC Vice Chairman David Clegg said. "The federal government tells the state when it triggers on and triggers off."

The state unemployment rate was 9.7 percent in February, down from 11.4 percent a year earlier.

Regular benefits last 26 weeks, and the federal government has added four tiers of extensions during the recession to give people an extra 53 weeks of benefits. With the end of the state extended benefits programs, thousands of people are much closer to losing their weekly benefits check.

"I'm nervous, concerned. I only get a little bit, and what is it I'm supposed to do?" Jacqueline Ezeamii said.

Ezeamii said she uses her unemployment benefits to pay bus fare to get to interviews and to the unemployment office.

Job market especially hard for older, unemployed workers Drop in NC unemployment rate means drop in jobless benefits

"How are you going to take the bus to look for a job? They are cutting off everything. How are you supposed to look for a job?" she said.

Ricky Faison said he has been collecting unemployment benefits for almost two years, using the money to pay bills, buy groceries and occasionally take care of his grandchildren.

His benefits were scheduled to run out in a few months, but they will now end in 12 days.

"All of a sudden, it's cut off. So that means, you know, it's over. It's over," Faison said, trying to remain positive. "It's been a tough situation."

Clegg said the ESC is reviewing its options to try and extend the April 16 deadline.

59 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • anthonywoodruff2007 Apr 6, 2011

    I have been unemployed since 2008 and i was on unemployment benefits for little over 2 years. I used the money i was getting in buying me a car so i could get around and look for work near and far. I also paid my bills with my benefits. But i got cut off in 2010 and i was mad at first but then you know what i say to myself? "I'm glad that i didn't rely on those checks". I went near and far to find work but nothing to my surprise! No one is hiring! Ever since i have been off unemployment i have found better ways to make money! I have been successfully doing eBay ever since my last check and now i am making ends meet. So no one can tell me that you can't work. There is eBay and if that's the last leg you need to make money then stand on it.
    To those who say go find a job... Well i sure hope that you keep your job (s) because everyone is telling the truith in here that there is nothing of a job out there! I back that up! but i won't let this nothingless job market keep me down!

  • 6079 SMITH W Apr 5, 2011

    Yeah, you're right......Smithers, release the hounds. ;)

  • tmh1375 Apr 5, 2011

    (sound of pin dropping)

    Story has moved off the front page of the website. The outrage has probably moved on to something else. :)

  • 6079 SMITH W Apr 5, 2011

    (sound of pin dropping)

  • 6079 SMITH W Apr 5, 2011

    sssssshhhhhhhhhh, cslittle......that's a secret, if it gets out, the republicans will look like they have it in for unemployed people.....and this unpleasantness could hurt their chances of getting elected for another 100 years. ;)

  • cslittle Apr 5, 2011

    First off, the comments on hear about a vacation, when you one day find yourself unemployed, you'll realize how tough it is...as far as Extended Benefits, we are not being told the truth. A state's eligibility for EB is defined by a formula passed down from the Fed. It's called a 2 year lookback rule, the current month's unemployment must be 110% or more of the past 2 years average...HOWEVER, the Fed govt has changed the rule to adopt a 3 year lookback rule. Using a 3 year lookback, NC would now be re-eligible for the EB program. The Fed govt has left the decision to adopt the 3 year rule to the individual State Legislatures. It is the NC General Assembly that is blocking this. All they have to is adopt this change and we are back in the game. Missouri has also refused to adopt this change; reason being, this money will eventually have to be paid back to the Fed. California and Colorado has changed to the 3 year rule. http://www.ows.doleta.gov/unemploy/claims_arch.asp

  • tmh1375 Apr 5, 2011

    Federal decision not state decision. READING is good! tmh1375 How is it that the number of jobs created to those lost during the same time period are not calculated???? Well BEV why not??? Oh thats right then there will be an actual data tally of your incompetence!!! reading comprehension is even better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    NC counts jobs the same way the rest of the the country counts them. The same way the federal government counts them. Your username is very fitting.

  • same ole story Apr 5, 2011

    Federal decision not state decision. READING is good!
    tmh1375
    How is it that the number of jobs created to those lost during the same time period are not calculated???? Well BEV why not??? Oh thats right then there will be an actual data tally of your incompetence!!!
    reading comprehension is even better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • gingerlynn Apr 5, 2011

    I know some people will suffer. But I know of at least 6 other acquaintances or extended family members that did not seriously look for work until they were 2-4 weeks from losing benefits. Before that they casually looked while on a low-paid mini-vacation

  • tcndc2 Apr 5, 2011

    everyone is missing the last line-
    Clegg said the ESC is reviewing its options to try and extend the April 16 deadline.
    what the hell does this mean? I thought it said its over- now they can review their options?
    i say bombard their office with calls - the noisy wheel gets the grease!

More...