Labor Secretary: proposed NC unemployment legislation “a grievous blow” to struggling families

From the U.S. Department of Labor:

WASHINGTON – Acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris today issued the following statement regarding North Carolina House of Representatives Bill 4:

“The North Carolina legislature is considering legislation that would reduce state Unemployment Insurance benefits. If enacted, the legislation also would cut off all federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation – that is, benefits after 26 weeks of unemployment – to 170,000 unemployed North Carolinians. This cutoff is automatic under federal law. I have no discretion to stop it. As a result, families struggling to secure their place in the middle class will suffer a grievous blow, and the state’s economy will lose $780 million in federal funds that are vital to reducing North Carolina’s high unemployment rate.

“We know that for every dollar spent on Unemployment Insurance benefits, nearly two dollars are generated in the local economy. Unemployed workers and their families spend these benefits in local grocery stores and small businesses, and use them to stay current on mortgage or rent payments and utilities. For these reasons, UI programs are vital to economic growth in difficult times, particularly in states like North Carolina with high unemployment rates.”


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