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Unemployment in NC slightly up

The state unemployment rate went up to 9.2 percent in December, according to a release this morning from the N.C. Department of Commerce.

It was an increase of 0.1 percent from a month prior.

The state is still up from the national rate of 7.8 percent but is far better off than it was last year. In December 2011, unemployment was 10.4 percent.

(All numbers are seasonably adjusted.)

This comes as the state legislature gets ready to make significant changes to the state’s unemployment insurance program, in order to pay back $2.5 billion the state borrowed from the federal government in the height of the recession.

The proposal on the table would primarily change how jobless workers are affected, by scaling back the number of weeks an unemployed worker could collect benefits form 26 to 12 or 20 weeks (depending on the economy), and cut the maximum weekly amount from $535 to $350. (More here in this WRAL story.)

Businesses would see a slight increase in what they pay.

Worker advocates, including the Policy Watch’s parent organization, the N.C. Justice Center, have said the current proposal would leave vulnerable middle and low-income families without the needed safety nets after a sudden job less, with the business community not paying enough of their share.

Meanwhile, the N.C. Chamber of Commerce, which worked closely with legislators to develop the proposed plan, have described the proposal as balanced, with all sides feeling some pain to right the system. (Click here to read a chamber news release on the issue.)

Legislators are expected to take up the issue later on in the session.

6 Comments

  1. Alex

    January 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    After 5 years under Obama, there are still less people working today than we had working in 2007 !

  2. […] changes to the benefit structure that will drastically reduce benefits for workers at a time when unemployment remains high, jobs are scarce, and workers are struggling to find […]

  3. wncgirl

    January 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Hold on after the GOP fires every public worker in the state — that’s when the fun begins. Anyone else out there fed up with austerity for the masses and hefty raises for the new GOP staff? same thing Tillis did with his sinning adulterous staff and look how well that turned out… yeah Tillis needed to pay “hotpants hobbs” barely out of a third tier college with lackluster grades 100k for her expertise and I guess her sinful desire to sleep with fellow staffers who of course were married… gee last time i looked that was one of the 10, but GOPers look at the Bible and the Constitution the same way… those rules/laws are for others…not them.

  4. david esmay

    January 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    The GOP legislature has found one thing they’re good at, increasing unemployment in NC.

  5. Alex

    January 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    You’re talking peanuts when considering a few hundred thousand for these salaries What you should be worried about is North Carolina’s total of $94 billion in unfunded debt, and the fact we are deriving 35% of our funds from a federal government which is essentially bankrupt.

  6. wncgirl

    January 24, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Have to wonder what rock you were under Alex during the Bush and Co. years when our deficit went up every single year v. the four under Obama when the defecit has declined every year…..