North Carolina senators tell governor to turn down federal unemployment benefits

North Carolina's two GOP senators are telling Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to end federal unemployment benefits, saying that they are contributing to a shortage of workers in the state.

The employment shortage caused by exorbitant federal unemployment benefits is a real and serious threat to North Carolina’s recovery,” Republican Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrBipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor Bipartisan group to issue 'promising' statement on infrastructure path forward First responders shouldn't have to tackle tigers MORE (N.C.) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSenators hail 'historic changes' as competing proposals to tackle military sexual assault advance Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor Overnight Defense: Military justice overhaul included in defense bill | Pentagon watchdog to review security of 'nuclear football' | Pentagon carries out first air strike in Somalia under Biden MORE (N.C.) said in a joint statement

Over the last several weeks, we’ve heard from countless small, mid, and large-sized business owners across North Carolina struggling to hire enough workers to reopen this summer. Employers, particularly in hard-hit industries like tourism, service, and hospitality, are finding they can’t compete with excessive federal benefits,” the senators wrote.

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The federal unemployment insurance program giving $300 per week is set to expire in September, but multiple states are opting out of the program early as businesses have begun to fully open due to coronavirus restrictions being lifted.

Florida announced on Monday that it will be leaving the program at the end of June.

Governor Cooper needs to acknowledge the existence of a problem and take action to fix it. While the governor recently announced he will finally start reinstating the job search requirement, that’s merely enforcing existing law. It’s not enough. The governor should immediately end expanded federal unemployment insurance and focus on incentives to encourage more people to return to the workforce, as nearly half of states already have,” the senators said.

However, other Republican lawmakers in North Carolina were planning to take the money from the unemployment program and use it to create signing bonuses for those who are unemployed and find a job, McClatchy reported.

A spokesperson for Cooper told The News & Observer that he is open to the signing bonuses plan by Republicans.