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Jobless Claims Rise Again, But Tillis & Burr Voted to Stop an Increase in Critical UI Benefits

North Carolina is on track to surpass 500,000 jobless claims by the end of this week

Despite Pandemic, Tillis & Burr Said No to Up to $600 for Unemployed North Carolinians

Raleigh, N.C. — Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson released the following statement as 137,573 more North Carolinians filed for unemployment benefits this week, according to a Department of Labor announcement this morning:

North Carolina workers who have lost their job receive some of the lowest unemployment benefits in the country and receive payments for a shorter time than in nearly every other state -- all because Senator Tillis led the charge to roll back benefits when he was Speaker of the North Carolina House.

Now, as a US Senator, Tillis voted last month to stop an increase of $600 in unemployment benefits in the middle of this crisis. While many members of our state congressional delegation are fighting for North Carolinians hit hard by the coronavirus, Senators Tillis and Burr are failing to lead, just as they have when they’ve voted to increase health care costs repeatedly, especially for older North Carolinians. Senators Tillis and Burr must stop voting against relief for regular North Carolinians.


Tills’ history of restricting unemployment benefits dates back to his time as the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives when he fought to reduce eligibility and “touted the benefit reductions.” Tillis and Burr voted last month to stop an expansion of unemployment benefits for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

With an average of 21,000 people filing for unemployment every day in the three weeks since coronavirus-related closures began, North Carolina is on track to surpass 500,000 jobless claims by the end of this week. Economists predict that the March unemployment rate of 4.4 percent could rise to 13 percent in April. The Economic Policy Institute has estimated that over 600,000 North Carolinians will lose their jobs by summer 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.


Jessica Coscia


About Piedmont Rising Piedmont Rising is a 501 (c)4 issue advocacy organization built by and for North Carolinians to advocate for lower insurance premiums and prescription drug costs and to ensure that more people have access to safe and affordable health care. Through grassroots organizing, education, and engagement, we are amplifying our health care stories and holding our elected officials accountable to the people, and issues they were elected to represent.

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