Uncategorized

Unemployment Climbs Again

Unemployment in North Carolina rose for the ninth consecutive month in September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Seven percent of the state’s workforce now is unemployed – a level of joblessness seen on only one other occasion since 1990.

Unemployment in North Carolina has reached recessionary levels. The September unemployment rate of seven percent is tied for the highest monthly rate recorded since 1990. It is higher than any monthly rate posted during the 1990-91 recession or the official part of the 2001 recession. And the situation likely will worsen in the coming months.

Deteriorating labor market conditions led Congress to pass an Emergency Unemployment Compensation program in June. This program allows unemployed workers to draw an additional 13 weeks of insurance. Given the labor market’s turn for the worse, however, sizable numbers of workers are exhausting their emergency benefits yet remain jobless. In fact, an estimated 30,000 North Carolina workers will exhaust their emergency benefits this month, and another 13,000 will do so by year’s end.

In response, the U.S House of Representatives recently passed an extension of the emergency unemployment program that would provide seven more weeks of insurance to all workers and an additional 13 weeks for workers in high unemployment states like North Carolina. The U.S. Senate will need to act on the legislation during its November session.

An extension of emergency benefits is a critical tool for preventing the downturn from worsening. Not only will the payments help jobless workers, but they also will have an expansionary effect on local economies. For those reasons, Senators Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr should work to ensure that the emergency program is extended.

Check Also

Exceptional, Just Not In a Good Way

Conservative commentators frequently claim that the structure of ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

A court really shouldn’t shirk away from making a finding about a constitutional violation just beca [...]

Jim Womack has a reputation in North Carolina for being many things, but a conservationist isn’t one [...]

Just days after a North Carolina official tapped a Robeson County elementary for a controversial cha [...]

Two groups seeking state contracts to run struggling North Carolina schools have professional ties t [...]

20---amount in dollars of the average federal tax cuts in 2027 for households with children earning [...]

The folks running the General Assembly reached a new low this week in their efforts to dismantle our [...]

National civil rights leaders call for the rejection of North Carolina’s Thomas Farr [Editor’s note: [...]

Budgets matter, both within government and inside each household across America, because they demons [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more