Local News

NC unemployment agency's scores worsen

Posted May 24, 2012 2:26 p.m. EDT
Updated May 24, 2012 5:07 p.m. EDT

Division of Employment Security

— The U.S. Department of Labor has released new score cards showing the state unemployment office's scores in two key areas – already the lowest in the country – have gotten worse.

The WRAL Investigates team reported May 7 on the state Division of Employment Security's low report card scores.

More than 400,000 North Carolinians depend on the agency to help them until they get a new job. When someone first applies for unemployment, the state determines who is eligible for benefits and how much they should receive. The state also tracks who remains eligible for benefits once they're getting unemployment insurance.

In the latest review, the agency approved 18 percent of the initial eligibility cases – down 9 percentage points from December. The second score, determining whether people are still eligible, was 31 percent – down 8 percentage points.

Those low scores could open up the door for fraud, improper payments or denial of payments to eligible people. Agency spokesman Larry Parker said earlier this month that the unemployment office has created two corrective action plans to show how it hopes to improve its scores.

“We do recognize that certain areas of our unemployment insurance program need some work,” Parker said.