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Weekly Unemployment Claims Show Pandemic Job Losses Continue to Hit North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 9, 2020

Weekly Unemployment Claims Show Pandemic Job Losses Continue to Hit North Carolina

Tillis, Burr Have Less Than Three Weeks to Prevent Unemployment Income Cuts, Protect Economic Lifeline for Struggling Workers

Raleigh, N.C. - With just three weeks until expanded federal unemployment income expires, the U.S. Department of Labor  reported today that 27,202 North Carolinians filed initial unemployment claims this past week. More than 1.1 million North Carolinians have lost their jobs and filed for unemployment insurance since the pandemic began. Expanded federal unemployment payments provided by Congress in the CARES Act are set to expire on July 31.


“North Carolinians continue to face unprecedented pandemic-related job losses, and in just three weeks they will face financial disaster if Senator Tillis and Senator Burr don’t extend federal unemployment insurance,” said Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson. “North Carolina’s state unemployment payments are some of the worst in the nation and won’t even cover the monthly cost of housing and health insurance for most families. Cutting federal unemployment income will force North Carolinians to make choices between paying for groceries, prescription drugs, or other basic living expenses in the middle of a global pandemic. Tillis and Burr cannot cut North Carolinians’ income on July 31.”


An analysis released yesterday by Piedmont Rising showed that if Tillis and Burr allow federal unemployment insurance to expire, it could mean financial disaster for hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians. North Carolina’s state unemployment payments alone would leave an average person more than $350 short of covering monthly housing and health insurance costs before factoring in any other expenses, like groceries and transportation.


Despite this, Senator Thom Tillis suggested last week that extending federal unemployment insurance would “make the problem worse.” Senator Richard Burr has so far refused to comment on the extension.


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