A new law recently passed in North Carolina takes aim at the the number of unemployment insurance benefits weeks, with the goal of getting people back into the workforce and saving the state – and local businesses – a lot of money.

North Carolina’s unemployment rate has held steady over the past few months, in line with the national average. According to the state’s Department of Commerce, the unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percent to 6.2 percent in April, which is also 2.2 percent below the level it was at one year ago.

Over that year, the Department of Commerce reported that total nonfarm jobs increased by more than 71,000, while the total private sector increased by more than 73,000 jobs. The best industries between April 2013 and April 2014 were professional and business services and trade, transportation and utilities. This past year has been relatively kind to North Carolina, with the unemployment rate steadily declining each month, and more than 102,000 fewer unemployed residents claiming benefits during that time span.

Legislation changes attempt to reduce deficit
The high number of people using unemployment insurance benefits has strained North Carolina’s economy and its local businesses, with the state borrowing as much as $2.8 billion by April 2012, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

In response, state legislators drafted a bill that would cut the number of weeks eligible residents could receive benefits, the media outlet reported. In May, that bill was passed into law. Now, payments will be doled out on a sliding scale, with a minimum of 12 weeks as long as the unemployment rate stayed below 5.5 percent. So far, the bill has been referred to as a short-term fix, with a more permanent change expected to be discussed in 2015.

With the new legislation, the current unemployment rate in the state would remove five weeks off of the maximum amount of benefit weeks. So, payments would run out for recipients quicker than before. Supporters of the legislation hope this tough-love approach would inspire more people to take the first available job opening, and then use that time to look for more suitable employment as the economy improves.

At Corporate Cost Control, we work closely with employers across the country to better manage the nuances of unemployment insurance. Legislation changes on the state level could impact you today, and we welcome any questions or concerns you may have on a wide range of topics.


Contact CCC to see how we can save your organization time and money.
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