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Unemployment Benefits Cuts in North Carolina – The largest drop in its labor force in its history

In June, North Carolina lawmakers made such drastic cuts in unemployment benefits that the state was dropped from the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which made sure those who were out of work past their state-level benefit cutoff, typically around 26 weeks, still got benefits. The number of people receiving benefits fell to 45,000 by December, a 40 percent drop, both because people lost eligibility and because new people weren’t signing up. People are making initial benefit claims at half the rate of the year before.

While it’s true that the state has seen a rapid decline in its unemployment rate, that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone went back to work. More than 22,000 people in the state found a job after the benefits were cut off. But a huge number of people in North Carolina have given up looking for a job altogether since the cuts, which also lowers the unemployment rate, given that people who are still job searching are considered to be unemployed but those who stop looking aren’t. In fact, the state is experiencing the largest drop in its labor force in its history, with 77,000 fewer people working or looking for a job in October compared to the year before.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at No, Cutting Off Unemployment Benefits Hasn’t Pushed North Carolina’s Unemployed To Get Jobs | ThinkProgress.

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