12.14.2012 In the News, Policy Points

Running The Wrong Way

A recent story in The Charlotte Observer reported on the 100,000 North Carolinians set to lose federal and state unemployment insurance at the end of the month. The report contained commentary fro John Quinterno of South by North Strategies, Ltd.

A bill recently unveiled in the state legislature by a Republican-controlled committee calls for reducing the maximum weeks of benefits to no more than 20 – and as few as 12 weeks when the unemployment rate is low. The bill also calls for reducing the maximum weekly benefits from $506 to $350.

“In the U.S. and in North Carolina, we have traditionally assumed that we don’t have long durations of unemployment, that unemployment is a very short phenomenon,” Quinterno said. “One of the things we have seen in the ‘great recession’ is that long-term joblessness has become an entrenched part of our labor market. We are dealing with large numbers of people who have been out of work for very long periods of time.”

And, he added, the longer people are out of work, the harder it is for them to find a job.

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