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NC Jobless Claims Top 700K, But Tillis Voted to Stop an Extra $600 in Unemployment Insurance

New North Carolina Jobless Claims Top 700K, But Tillis Voted Last Month to Stop an Extra $600 in Unemployment Insurance

As NC House Speaker, Tillis Turned North Carolina’s Unemployment Insurance Program into One of the Worst in the U.S.

Raleigh, N.C. — Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the number of North Carolinians filing for unemployment insurance has surpassed 700,000:

“Hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians face an even steeper challenge in finding a financial lifeline during this crisis because Thom Tillis has repeatedly worked to make their lives harder. It wasn’t enough for him to transform the state unemployment system into one of the weakest in the country when he was House Speaker, so he voted last month to stop an extra $600 from helping workers and families in dire straits right now. And new reports show that people of color in our state are feeling the economic impact of the pandemic even more deeply.”

“Further, Senator Tillis has voted repeatedly to tear down health protections and raise health care costs for North Carolina’s most vulnerable. We need him and Senator Burr to step up during this crisis and provide real relief to struggling North Carolinians.”


Tillis’ history of restricting unemployment benefits, blocking Medicaid expansion, attempting to eliminate key public health programs, and limit access to affordable health care 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.” Last month, Tillis and Burr voted to stop an expansion of unemployment benefits for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

New reports highlight that coronavirus-related job losses are hitting Black and Latino families hardest and North Carolina is no different. The latest jobs report showed that job losses are higher among people of color during the coronavirus pandemic. In 37 North Carolina counties, the unemployment rate for people of color is at least twice as high as compared to white residents. Over 13 percent of North Carolinians working before the COVID-19 pandemic began have submitted unemployment insurance claims, the fastest mass loss of jobs on record.


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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