At its highest point, North Carolina owed the federal government over $2.8 billion (April 2012) after borrowing to pay regular state unemployment benefits. As 2013 drew to a close, the state had paid down almost $1 billion to a year end estimate of $1.87 billion.
“We are making sure that there are better processes in place for the determination of claims and we are introducing new tools to go after money that is owed to the division,” said DES Assistant Secretary Dale Folwell. “Fiscal Research at the General Assembly estimated that the debt would be around $1.98 billion at the end of 2013 and we anticipate being $100 million ahead of that projection.”
As of January, 1, 2013, the debt stood at $2.5 billion – the third highest in the nation behind New York and California. The General Assembly projects a final payoff date of November 2015.
“Changes in law along with an improving economy have kept us ahead of the projections,” said Folwell. “Had the state taken no action, the debt was projected to be $2.79 billion. This debt negatively impacts our employers’ tax rates relative to our border states and 30 others. The McCrory administration won’t rest until every North Carolinian that wants a job has a job and this Division won’t rest until every employer and claimant is correctly served and the debt is retired.”