Lew Ebert: Fixing unemployment insurance

January 18, 2014 

With the heightened federal debate concerning unemployment insurance, it is important to clarify misinformation about this issue and focus on the truth about how the unemployment insurance system works.

Here are several facts that often are not reported but are critical to understanding:

• Employees do not pay into the UI Trust Fund.

• Prior to state reforms passed in 2013, North Carolina employers were facing an out-of-control UI debt to the federal government. Nearing $3 billion, North Carolina had the third-highest UI debt in the country.

• North Carolina employers are currently paying a big tax to dig our state out of debt and restore the UI system to solvency. Responsibility to pay off this debt falls squarely on employers.

The North Carolina Chamber commends our state elected leaders for tackling a problem that would have continued to escalate – threatening the jobs North Carolina families need most – without taking the hard but necessary action to provide real solutions. In addition to restoring accountability, integrity and affordability to North Carolina’s UI system, House Bill 4 will more effectively connect North Carolina’s unemployed residents with jobs, shifting the focus from unemployment to re-employment. We are already seeing success.

Lew Ebert

President and CEO, North Carolina Chamber


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