Local News

N.C. Congressmen Work On Safety Net For Unemployed Workers

Posted January 14, 2003 6:11 a.m. EST

— The extension of federal unemployment benefits last week was great news to a lot of jobless Americans, but three North Carolina congressmen say it is not enough.

President George Bush signed an extension of the benefits last Wednesday. The bill provides assistance for laid-off workers whose benefits expired on Dec. 28, 2002. It ignores another large group of Americans whose benefits expired before then -- people who have been out of work even longer.

North Carolina representatives Bob Etheridge, David Price and Brad Miller say the federal benefits should help those people who have already exhausted all their state and federal help.

It is estimated that there are 1 million of these people across the country in this situation; 37,600 of them live in North Carolina.

The congressmen discussed their plan Tuesday afternoon at the

Employment Security Commission

office in Raleigh.

The state Employment Security Commission says January historically sees the most checks written. Officials said the commission may have to borrow money to make the payments.