July 14, 2013
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As unimaginable as it may seem to many, last week North Carolina became the only state in the union with no safety net for people facing long-term unemployment. North Carolina lost its eligibility for the federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation program not because it slashed the number of weeks that unemployed residents could collect benefits, but because it cut the maximum weekly benefit by roughly one third, from $535 to $350. States that want the federal aid are forbidden from cutting weekly benefits, though the feds granted special exemptions to four states last year, while ignoring North Carolina’s request.