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ICYMI: North Carolina Cut Jobless Benefits and the Sky Didn’t Fall

In a recent Politico article, former chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor Diana Furchtgott-Roth examines changes to North Carolina’s unemployment insurance system and the subsequent changes to employment – “where employment has increased and unemployment has declined from 8.8 percent to 7.4 percent in the five months following” the implementation of House Bill 4.

Not only has the state hit a five-year unemployment low, it is also outperforming its neighbors in employment growth since unemployment insurance reforms went into effect:

“Employment in North Carolina grew by more than 22,000 between June and November, about half a percent, according to the Labor Department’s Current Population Survey. It declined in Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia, and increased by a modest amount in South Carolina. In the rest of the country, employment declined slightly during those months. North Carolina also did better than border states and the United States as a whole in the Labor Department’s survey of establishments. Over the same time period, the number of unemployed in North Carolina declined by 17 percent, more than its border states (8 percent) and more than the rest of the United States (5 percent).” Read the full article here.
The NC Chamber championed House Bill 4, which allows North Carolina to bolster its competitive position in the future through a balanced approach and encourages quicker re-employment. We are already seeing success.

Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber