Bill requires more contacts for jobless benefits

RALEIGH (AP) — North Carolina’s unemployed could soon have to contact more potential employers weekly to keep receiving jobless benefits in legislation nearing final General Assembly approval.

The bill clearing the House on Thursday increases the contacts recipients must make weekly from two to five. Current law requires contacts be performed on two separate days. The proposal doesn’t contain such a restriction.

An amendment by Rep. Jonathan Jordan of Jefferson would have changed the contact requirement to three. He says five would be a burden for employers communicating with displaced workers, and three is used by most states.

The amendment failed 60-49. Rep. Michael Speciale of New Bern says five wasn’t unreasonable for those whose primary purpose should be to get hired.

One more positive Senate vote sends the bill to the governor.

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