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“I am a Tarheel Worker” campaign urges policymakers to extend jobless benefits

The North Carolina Justice Center has launched a campaign to strengthen the unemployment insurance system.

The “I Am a Tarheel Worker” Campaign calls on policymakers to take immediate action before the holidays to extend federal unemployment benefits, which provide critical support to out-of-work North Carolinians and the state’s struggling economy.

“As long as job creation in North Carolina fails to reach the levels necessary to close the jobs gap of 500,000 jobs, the unemployment insurance system serves to support modest consumer spending and keep demand for businesses’ goods and services stable,” said Alexandra Sirota, Director of the NC Budget and Tax Center, in a press release issued Tuesday.

Among the campaign’s recommendations for state and federal policymakers are:

1. Extending the emergency and federally funded provision of unemployment insurance through at least 2012 to ensure workers who have lost their jobs have the modest support necessary to provide for their families and  participate as consumers in the economy.

2. Protecting the state’s unemployment insurance system so that it serves its purpose as an insurance system for the broader economy. That will require North Carolina to maintain existing levels of benefit payments and eligibility for maximum impact in the economy.

3. Addressing the financing of the unemployment insurance trust fund to ensure that the system is funded in good times and able to support the economy in downturns.

As of last month, 451,413 North Carolinians were officially unemployed.

You can read more about those who are looking for work, and what a failure to extend the benefits could mean for our state at www.tarheelworkers.org.

 

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