By Evan Soltas
The U.S. is about to cut the maximum duration of public support for the unemployed. The federal extension of unemployment insurance expires on Jan. 1. To see the consequences, look at North Carolina.
I’ve been watching the state since July, when it cut the maximum length of benefit from 99 weeks to just 19, and reduced the weekly check from $535 to $350.
Across the country, the unemployed will lose from 14 to 47 weeks of insurance when the extension ends. Five other states will join North Carolina in providing fewer than 26 weeks of payments — the standard in the U.S until this year. What’s happened in North Carolina since July is an indication of what will happen nationwide. The picture is troubling.