• Office of House Majority Leader

Rep. Bell Leads Effort Calling on Gov. Cooper to Reinstate Unemployment Work Search Requirements

Raleigh, NC – Today, North Carolina House Majority Leader John Bell led a letter with sixty of his Republican colleagues in calling on Governor Roy Cooper to reinstate unemployment work search requirements.

While the Governor’s March 1, 2021 executive order did reinstate this requirement for “new claimants,” it was not extended to all individuals currently receiving unemployment benefits. “In our districts, we continue to hear from small business owners who are unable to fill new jobs,” the letter states. “We believe reinstating work search requirements is a common-sense step to help connect the unemployed with new job opportunities. “With our state now fully reopened, it is imperative that we encourage North Carolinians to explore current job openings and utilize reemployment resources. This will help the unemployed while addressing the growing number of job openings across the state that are not being filled.” The full letter can be found online here and below. Dear Governor Cooper, With your recently announced decision to end COVID-19 restrictions on businesses, particularly with the hospitality industry, we are writing to strongly urge you to reinstate unemployment work search requirements. While your March 1, 2021 executive order did reinstate this requirement for “new claimants,” it should also be extended to all individuals currently receiving unemployment benefits. The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) reports that restaurants in North Carolina are down about 70,000 workers—roughly 17% of the industry’s workforce—compared to before the pandemic. Furthermore, there are 250,000 people in North Carolina currently receiving unemployment benefits each week, according to the state Department of Commerce. Yet, North Carolina’s workforce system, NCWorks, lists over 200,000 current job openings in the state, and this does not include every opening since not all employers utilize the system. In our districts, we continue to hear from small business owners who are unable to fill new jobs. We believe reinstating work search requirements is a common-sense step to help connect the unemployed with new job opportunities. With our state now fully reopened, it is imperative that we encourage North Carolinians to explore current job openings and utilize reemployment resources. This will help the unemployed while addressing the growing number of job openings across the state that are not being filled. Thank you for your attention to this important issue. Respectfully,


Rep. John Bell Rep. Dean Arp Rep. Kristin Baker, M.D. Rep. Jamie Boles Rep. John Bradford Rep. Mark Brody Rep. Dana Bumgardner Rep. Jerry Carter Rep. Mike Clampitt Rep. George Cleveland Rep. Ted Davis Rep. Jimmy Dixon Rep. Jeffrey Elmore Rep. John Faircloth Rep. Karl Gillespie Rep. Ed Goodwin Rep. Dudley Greene Rep. Destin Hall Rep. Kyle Hall Rep. Bobby Hanig Rep. Jon Hardister Rep. Kelly Hastings Rep. Chris Humphrey Rep. Pat Hurley Rep. Frank Iler Rep. Jake Johnson Rep. Brenden Jones Rep. Keith Kidwell Rep. Donny Lambeth Rep. Pat McElraft Rep. Jeffrey McNeelyRep. Allen McNeill Rep. Charlie Miller Rep. Grey Mills Rep. Tim Moffitt Rep. Ben Moss Rep. Erin Paré Rep. Howard Penny Rep. Ray Pickett Rep. Larry Pittman Rep. Mark Pless Rep. Larry Potts Rep. Dennis Riddell Rep. Jason Saine Rep. John Sauls Rep. Phil Shepard Rep. Carson Smith Rep. Sarah Stevens Rep. Larry Strickland Rep. John Szoka Rep. John Torbett Rep. Steve Tyson Rep. Harry Warren Rep. Sam Watford Rep. Diane Wheatley Rep. Donna McDowell White Rep. David Willis Rep. Matthew Winslow Rep. Larry Yarborough Rep. Lee Zachary Rep. Jeff Zenger

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N.C. HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER

N.C. House Representative of HD-10