I strongly disagree with the writer of the Oct. 7 letter “ Way off base,” who asserted that unemployment insurance perpetuates unemployment. When the Republican leaders butchered unemployment insurance this year, they pulled the rug out from current and future unemployed North Carolinians who lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
I am retired from my career promoting economic development in the South. Local development specialists would tell me that unemployed people are often shell-shocked. Their once highly valued skill sets may not transfer to jobs with similar pay and benefits. It takes all of their time and courage to network, get interviews, juggle finances and figure out whether training programs would improve their employability. If benefits end before they land a similar job, the family is apt to plummet into the minimum wage class and all that that implies – selling the house, bringing kids home from college, delaying having a baby (perhaps forever), buying less healthy foods and fighting depression.
There will always be slackers who abuse a support system, but laid-off folks will likely tell you UI is no vacation; they would jump at a decent job.
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