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Unemployment cuts will hit rural counties hardest

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Jobless workers won't suffer alone

If a proposal by the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, adopted by Republican leaders in our state legislature, to dramatically cut our state's unemployment benefits system becomes law, rural counties with unemployment rates almost double the state average will take the biggest economic hit. That includes Scotland County, where the unemployment rate is 16%.

Public News Service has the story:

Guy McCook, chairman of the Scotland County Commission, says reducing benefits by even $100 a week would add up to a $800,000 a month loss in his county.

"That doesn't sound like a lot of money, but in a small community, a $800,000 a month reduction in economic benefits to our businesses in our community is a pretty significant decrease."

Under the recommendations, the maximum weekly benefit for workers would fall from the current $525 a week to $350, and the benefit period would be reduced from 26 weeks to 20.

Taken altogether - cuts to the amount of benefits, their duration, and eligibility - the plan's changes amount to a 50% cut to a vital program and one that now pumps $1.4 billion a year back into the state economy.

Click here to read the full story, "Proposed Unemployment Benefit Cuts Could Impact Business Growth".