NFIB State Director Gregg Thompson released the following statement today on the latest version of Senate Bill 116, legislation that addresses the state’s worsening lack of job applications by ending the federal pandemic-related unemployment benefits ahead of schedule as 26 states already have done.
The House passed a version of the bill today by a bipartisan vote of 71-36. It contained a provision that would provide child-care for parents or guardians reentering the workforce. A national survey released today by NFIB said a record 48% of small business owners had openings they couldn’t fill in May.
“Last summer, businesses here had to reduce hours and limit services because of social distancing,” Thompson said. “Today, the same thing is happening because businesses can’t find enough workers.
“The federal unemployment supplement was always intended as a patch to help people who lost their jobs and couldn’t return to work because of the pandemic,” Thompson said. “The economy has improved, and businesses are hiring again, but some people say they can’t return to work because they’re caring for young children.
“The House version of S.B. 116 would address these problems. Without workers, businesses can’t provide the goods and services their customers need, and they can’t fully recover from the COVID-19 economic setback,” Thompson said. “Small businesses can’t afford to wait until the temporary supplement benefits expire in September.
“Our members need relief now so North Carolina’s economy can return to what it was before the pandemic.”