NC State AFL-CIO, PO Box 10805, Raleigh, NC 27605

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jeremy Sprinkle, Communications Director, 919-833-6678, jeremy@aflcionc.org;

69,700 NORTH CAROLINIANS TO LOSE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE LIFELINE UNLESS CONGRESS ACTS BEFORE JANUARY 1ST

New state by state numbers show the devastating impact on North Carolina jobless workers

http://uistories.aflcio.org/NC

As families prepare for the holiday, a new report released by the AFL-CIO shows that 69,700 North Carolinians will lose their unemployment benefits on December 31st if Congress fails to act to extend unemployment insurance.

“As a jobless American, I pray every night for a job and then hit the pavement every morning looking for one.  If Congress doesn’t extend unemployment insurance, come next year, I’ll lose the last lifeline I have for myself and my family as we struggle to get through the biggest challenge of our lifetime,” said David Cottrell of High Point.

In North Carolina as well as across the country, jobless workers and their communities will be holding vigils on Thursday December 8 to call attention to the ongoing jobs crisis and to urge Congress to take immediate action and extend unemployment benefits.

According to the report, young people and people of color will be disproportionately impacted if benefits are cut.  Here in North Carolina the unemployment rate for young people 20 to 24 years old is 18.4 percent for African Americans is 17.4 percent and Latinos is 10.7 percent.

The average benefit provided by the federal extension amounts to $296 a week, which covers a family’s minimum expenses for survival.  That money is pumped directly back into the local economy when jobless workers pay for groceries, transportation, utilities, and housing.  Currently, 1 in 1,449 homes in North Carolina face foreclosure and the problem will only worsen if federal unemployment insurance extension is not passed.

“With 1 job opening for about every 5 jobseekers and the continued obstruction of job creating legislation, Republicans in Congress and their special interest friends have placed working families in an impossible situation,” said James Andrews, president of the NC State AFL-CIO.  “If Rep. Renee Ellmers and Rep. Howard Coble truly prioritize the needs of North Carolinians over tax cuts for the richest 1 percent, they will act now to pass the unemployment insurance benefit extension.”

To view the full data and stories of unemployed workers in North Carolina visit: http://uistories.aflcio.org/NC

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