• KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Unemployment Insurance After July 1, 2013

    Unemployment insurance provides workers with temporary and partial replacement of lost wages during periods of unemployment. Learn about your right to unemployment insurance benefits here »
  • Photo from flickr, by stan (http://www.flickr.com/photos/whoisstan/), CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

    How has unemployment impacted you? How important is unemployment insurance in supporting your family in tough times? Share your story here »

    The economic downturn affected nearly all workers in N.C.Those hard hit by unemployment faced struggles to make ends meet and find work in a jobless recovery. The broader economy has suffered, too, as small businesses see a decline in demand for their goods and services.

    (Photo at right from flickr, by stan, CC BY-SA 2.0)

  • NC Families Go Over the Unemployment Cliff
    On June 30, as a result of legislation that passed in the first two weeks of the legislative session, the federal emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) program ended in North Carolina and with it an estimated 70,000 North Carolinians who are out of work through no fault of their own lost access to this modest support.

  • "Cut Loose and Cut Off"
    The NC Justice Center's Bill Rowe was recently featured in a WRAL documentary focused on North Carolina's Unemployment Insurance, and how changes to the unemployment system left an estimated 170,000 long-term unemployed workers ineligible for federal unemployment benefits. Watch here ».

  • Kicking Jobless Workers While They're Down
    House Bill 4 made significant cuts to jobless workers’ benefit amounts and slashed the amount of time workers can receive benefits, at the same time turning down hundreds of millions of dollars in federal extended benefits. Learn more here ».


North Carolina’s jobs deficit stands at more than half a million, four years into the official economic recovery. This gap between the jobs demanded by a growing workforce and those in the labor market has driven persistent and high unemployment across the state.

The economy needs a strengthened unemployment insurance system to ensure that the jobs deficit can be reversed and the rebuilding of our economy is on sounder footing. And yet policymakers in North Carolina implemented radical changes to the state’s unemployment insurance system that will undermine its effectiveness. They slashed benefit amounts and duration of benefits while failing to recognize the critical alignment that is necessary between the design of the system and broader economic conditions.

The I am a Tar Heel Worker campaign calls on North Carolina’s policymakers to:

  1. Strengthen the state’s unemployment insurance system so that it serves its purpose as an insurance system for the broader economy.
  2. Address the financing of the unemployment insurance trust fund so that the system is funded in good times and able to support the economy in downturns.