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Weekly Unemployment Claims Data Continues to Confirm Unprecedented Nature of Job Loss

The release of national weekly unemployment insurance (UI) claims data shows that initial claims have continued to climb.

North Carolina’s data on initial claims, released by the US Department of Labor today, is reported for the week of March 28th, confirming that more than 172,000 North Carolinians filed for unemployment insurance. Projections of advance claims reported suggest that the week of April 4th saw 137,537 weekly claims for UI across the state.

Data from the Division of Employment Security released daily and available here show that North Carolina’s jobless claims have topped 474,000 from March 16th-April 7th.

MaryBe McMillan, President, North Carolina State AFL-CIO
“When workers lose wages and jobs, as is happening with measures required to contain the coronavirus, it is critical that our Unemployment Insurance quickly and effectively provide support. When working people have the dollars they need to make ends meet and don’t get pushed into poverty, they and our economy can thrive. It’s time to focus on workers.”

Bill Rowe, Deputy Director of Advocacy at the NC Justice Center
“Our state is facing an unprecedented public health crisis that has put hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians out of work. The benefits provided by our Unemployment Insurance program are among the stingiest in the United States. Changes are needed—and support for the agency to administer the program under significant strain—so North Carolina can effectively send support to those people feeling the impact, now and in the future.”

Patrick McHugh, Senior Economic Analyst with the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center
“February will mark the end of an incomplete recovery from the Great Recession and we need to be preparing now for a downturn at least as bad as that this time around. We’re experiencing the fastest loss of jobs in American history and will hit half a million North Carolinians filing for unemployment as a result of this crisis in the next few days. People are suffering, so the state legislature needs to act urgently to keep the economic consequences of this outbreak from getting far worse.”

North Carolina’s Division of Employment Security is pursuing administrative processes that can ensure people access benefits in a timely way such as those outlined in this report from the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

For more information about the federal Unemployment Insurance changes in the CARES Act click here.