N.C. Unemployment Trust Fund Ready for Emergency Measures with $3.9 Billion Balance and Disaster Reforms

The General Assembly changed state law in 2017 to ensure benefits paid during federal disaster declarations may be provided without waiting a week or without showing the usually required job search

Raleigh, N.C. – State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said Tuesday that a $3.9 billion Unemployment Trust Fund Balance is in place for North Carolina to draw on with emergency measures that support families hurting from the economic impact of the COVID-19 response.

North Carolina has the highest trust fund balance reserve ratio in the Southeast, according to the General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division, providing the state financial flexibility to address the crisis.

The state legislature repaid nearly $3 billion in debt from 2011 to 2015 before building the $3.9 billion Unemployment Trust Fund Balance.

“North Carolina is exceptionally well-prepared to support working people who are losing income due to this emergency, with the highest unemployment reserve ratio in the Southeast,” Speaker Moore said Tuesday.

“Those who are missing paychecks and bearing the brunt of these drastic economic measures need immediate access and support from these benefits and can have confidence our state will provide another robust disaster response.”

The General Assembly also clarified state law in 2017 to ensure benefits  may not be charged to the account of an employer if the benefits were paid due directly to an event covered by a federal disaster declaration.  

North Carolina also has a $1.1 billion savings reserve, a $74 million Disaster Relief Fund, and $186 million in Medicaid contingency reserves.