The So-Called "Carolina Comeback" Doesn't Add Up for NC Workers
Job opportunities in North Carolina for the unemployed in the last decade have not seen a significant increase compared to those in the rest of the United States. They may be even be worse since the unemployment insurance reform came about in 2013. So much for the so-called "Carolina Comeback."
After more than two years of experience with North Carolina’s unemployment insurance reform, we can evaluate whether it delivered on its promise. Did unemployed North Carolina workers have an increased likelihood of finding jobs after maximum payments and the number of weeks of eligibility were slashed when compared with workers in the rest of the United States?
Evidence from the Current Population Survey conducted monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that the average working-age unemployed individual in North Carolina actually is less likely than an unemployed worker in the rest of the U.S. to be re-employed in the following month. .
At the beginning of 2011, North Carolina unemployed workers were equally likely to find a job in the next month when compared with other states’ unemployed workers. From 2011 through mid-2015, unemployed workers in North Carolina were less likely to find a job.
It was February 2013 when state lawmakers approved unemployment insurance reform, which reduced the average payment and reduced the maximum number of weeks that the involuntarily unemployed could collect those payments. When Gov. Pat McCrory signed the legislation, he said this reform “will help provide an economic climate that allows job creators to start hiring again.” About 170,000 North Carolina workers receiving insurance payments when the law took effect in July 2013 lost $780 million because of the reform.