North Carolina Cuts Unemployment Benefits, Becomes First State to Drop Federal Jobless Funds

| by Emily Smith
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On Sunday more than 400,000 North Carolina residents will lose jobless benefits as a result of cuts passed by Republicans in February.

The bill at the heart of this will shorten the length of state-funded unemployment insurance and cut the level of weekly benefit payments, a provision that violates the federal unemployment insurance program and will leave the state ineligible for federal jobless funds.

The state hopes to repay $2.5 billion of federal debt by cutting benefits for the newly unemployed.

While seven other states have enacted jobless insurance cuts, North Carolina is the first state to be dropped from the national Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

Though North Carolina Republicans believe slashing benefits for the unemployed will “put North Carolinians back to work,” the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee found that recipients work harder to find a job than nonrecipients. Because active job seeking is required to receive unemployment benefits, recipients are more likely to become employed.

Sources: Raw Story, Think Progress, Joint Economic Committee