By WECT Staff | May 21, 2021 at 4:12 PM EDT – Updated May 21 at 4:21 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) – Governor Roy Cooper on Friday signed an executive order that would expand the state’s work-search requirements to include all North Carolinians who are currently filing for unemployment benefits.
“Unemployment benefits have provided a critical lifeline for many North Carolinians living on the edge due to the pandemic. As our state emerges from the pandemic, we want to help people safely return to work as soon as possible. Reinstating the work search guidelines will help connect claimants with employers, resources and tools to help them return to the workforce,” said Cooper.
Under Executive Order 216, all existing claimants of unemployment benefits will be required to fulfill work search requirements beginning June 6. Additionally, all existing claimants will be required over the next several weeks to register with a jobseeker account on NCWorks.gov.
A previous executive order reinstated the work-search requirements but only for new claimants who filed on or after March 14; those requirements will now apply to anyone collecting unemployment.
Cooper said Friday’s order also directs the N.C. Department of Commerce to explore opportunities, consistent with federal law and through the use of certain federal funds, to establish a reemployment incentive program for jobless workers who find and maintain employment.
Since the start of the pandemic, North Carolina has distributed more than $11.7 billion in unemployment benefits across multiple state and federal programs.
Approximately 245,000 North Carolinians are currently receiving benefit payments each week.
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