Writing a letter to the editor to your local newspaper is a great way to get our message out that the unemployment insurance system is critical to North Carolina’s workers and the economy.
GENERAL TIPS FOR WRITING A LETTER TO THE EDITOR IN YOUR LOCAL PAPER
• Visit the website of your newspaper and find out the word limit on letters. Most letters to the editor must be 150-200 words long.
• Try to tie your letter to something happening in your community or an article that’s been in your paper. That’ll help ensure it gets printed.
• If you need help with your letter to the editor, contact us by email HERE.
TALKING POINTS FOR LETTERS
• Designed after the Great Depression, the unemployment insurance system was created to provide temporary, partial wage replacement to involuntarily unemployed workers and to help stabilize the economy during times of recession.
• UI benefits provide businesses, workers and the broader economy with support in economic downturns that can smooth the way to a stronger recovery.
• Recent national data from the American Community Survey found that unemployment insurance benefits kept 3.3 million Americans out of poverty from 2008 to 2009.
• The average payment in North Carolina of $290 per week is modest and still inadequate to meet the basic needs of a family of one worker and two children: each month $1110 would go unpaid according to analysis of the Living Income Standard.
• The economic reality in North Carolina is that there are not enough jobs for jobseekers. North Carolina’s job deficit stands at more than 525,000. Nationwide, there are 3.3 unemployed workers for every job vacancy.
• The unemployment insurance system works best with “forward financing”—employers contribute to an unemployment insurance trust fund in good times so that in tough times, when benefit payouts increase and payrolls shrink, funds are available for workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. North Carolina must put in place policies that support forward financing.
• If North Carolina had required contributions from employers at the national average tax rate during the past two decades, employers would have contributed $2.8 billion to the Trust Fund from 1990 to 2004, reducing the magnitude of the current solvency challenges. Instead, policymakers cut taxes for North Carolina’s employers in 1990s which in combination with the Great Recession drove the current debt.
REPORT BACK – let us know if you write a letter
Help us track your letters by filling out the form below. Please be sure to include the name of the newspaper you sent your letter to in your message, and thank you for working for a better North Carolina.