By CBS 17 Digital Desk | May 26, 2021 at 1:47 PM EDT – Updated May 26 at 6:20 PM
WASHINGTON (WNCN) – Republican Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis are calling on Gov. Roy Cooper (D) to end North Carolina’s use of expanded federal unemployment benefits.
Burr and Tillis said the “exorbitant federal unemployment benefits” are a real threat to the state’s recovery from the pandemic.
“Employers, particularly in hard-hit industries like tourism, service, and hospitality, are finding they can’t compete with excessive federal benefits. Time is running out for industries that rely on the summer season for a large portion of their business,” the senators said in a joint statement.
The senators said telling employers to “pay more” won’t fix the problem.
“A person making $15 an hour earns $600 for a 40-hour work week; expanded federal UI pays up to $650 for a zero-hour work week. It’s no wonder so many have delayed returning to work as long as possible,” Tills and Burr said.
They called on Cooper to immediately end expanded federal unemployment insurance.
April’s seasonally adjusted state jobless rate of 5 percent marks a decline for a seventh consecutive month in North Carolina. That compares to the top pandemic rate of 13.5 percent last year.
Last week, Cooper announced an executive order that reinstates work search requirements for state unemployment benefits, which were put on hold during the pandemic.
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