Trend continues: Unemployment benefits paid in county fall again

Published 10:14 pm Friday, May 29, 2015

For the fourth month in a row, the amount of unemployment insurance benefits (all programs) paid to eligible Beaufort County residents has decreased, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division.

A Commerce Department spokesman said the overall decline in unemployment insurance paid out in the past four months in Beaufort County probably reflects the overall drop in the county’s unemployment rate and the fewer number of people receiving unemployment insurance benefits during those four months. The drop in the amount of benefits paid could be attributed to an improving economy, a drop in the number of people collecting benefits, lower benefit amounts and a shorter period for benefits eligibility, according to Larry Parker, public information officer with the Division of Employment Security.

In January, those benefits totaled $131,132. In February, the benefits paid had dropped to $127,205. For March, the benefits paid fell again to 119,424. The downward movement continued in April, when benefits paid totaled $98,565, according to LEAD statistics.

In March, 95 county residents filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits. Of that number, 50 residents were men. In April, 81 county residents filed for those benefits, according to LEAD figures. Of that number, 48 were men. In April, 39 whites, 34 blacks or African-Americans and eight others of other races filed initial claims for benefits.

The amount of a claimant’s weekly benefit amount depends, in part, on that person’s salary history during the last two quarters of his or her base period divided by 52. A claimant must have at least $780 in one of those last two quarters to establish a weekly benefit amount, which cannot exceed $350.

In North Carolina during April, the weekly benefit amount was $231.38. In March, that amount was at $230.65.

The benefits paid include regular unemployment insurance, unemployment compensation for federal employees, unemployment compensation for ex-military personnel, emergency unemployment compensation, extended benefits and federal additional compensation, according to LEAD documents.



About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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