North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Feb. 19 signed into law a bill that will cut benefits for jobless workers by about one-third and reduce how long they can collect any aid. The Republican governor says the measure marks an important step toward fixing the state’s unemployment insurance system. The law, which takes effect on July 1, cuts maximum weekly benefits to $350 from $535 and caps benefits at 12 to 20 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate, instead of the current 26 weeks.
McCrory says the measure “will protect our small businesses from continued over-taxation, ensure our citizens’ unemployment safety net is secure and financially sound for future generations, and help provide an economic climate that allows job creators to start hiring again.” North Carolina has more than 400,000 jobless workers, making its 9.2% unemployment rate, the fifth-highest in the country.