End to benefits approaching for long-term unemployed

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Submitted: Thu, 11/29/2012 - 10:35pm
Updated: Thu, 11/29/2012 - 11:47pm

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Stores are beginning to bustle with folks out Christmas shopping, but for thousands of people receiving unemployment benefits in our area, the biggest worry will soon be just keeping a roof over their heads.

“I’m at a loss as far as what will happen or what I’ll do when this ends if I don’t have work,” Anthony Harrison said.

For Harrison and 4,000 others like him in our area, time to find work is running short.

In 2008, at the height of the recession, Congress approved extending unemployment from 26 weeks to as long as two years. But if Congress does not act soon, on December 29, the extension will expire, and long-time job seekers will get their last checks.

“It’s not like we own fancy cars,” Harrison said. “We certainly don’t live in a mansion or anything like that. It would just mean being able to put groceries on the table.”

Harrison is in his 50s, and this is the first time he has not had a job since he was 14. Despite spending more than 50 hours a week searching, he still cannot find work.

“It just takes the wind out of your sails when you keeping hearing ‘No’ or getting rejection letters,” Harrison said.

With the holidays approaching, Harrison says this could not come at a worse time.

“We’ll be very modest in our gift-giving and probably just to immediate family,” he said.

To those who say two years is too long, Harrison has strong words.

“Don’t say that unless you’ve walked a mile in my shoes, quite frankly,” he said. “I’d rather have a job than unemployment. I really would.”

It is still not clear if lawmakers will continue the extension program, which includes about 87,000 North Carolinians. Congress has just two more weeks in this year’s session.


  • Guest525 says:

    There goes those “HIDDEN” words of prejudice “LAZY”. Wow, compassion, where is it, counterproductive, food on the table, where are they to place the table, on the sidewalk? Hopefully, whenever you’re in the need of compassion, it is extended to you the same way you extend compassion for your fellow human being.

  • CC says:

    I’m 59 and my company closed last year. I have 30+ years experience as a manager and have gone on many interviews, but no offers. I’ve tried lesser paying jobs, but have been told I’m overqualified. I want to work and hate being on unemployment. I’ve been told by employers that they have HUNDREDS of applicants for each job. Even though I’d take less money, they’d rather hire someone younger. Unless you’ve been in my place, don’t presume to pass judgement.

  • Guesttenheimer says:

    …but there are jobs to be had. You may have to take 2 or 3 of them and they may not be what you want, but they will put food on the table. There are many people drawing unemployment for over 2 years and sucking the government dole for every penny they can get. I’ve commonly heard the comment, “Why should I go to work when I make more money being on unemployment and can sit on my @ss?” The government push of extending from 26 weeks to 130 weeks is counterproductive to anyone going back to work. I have yet to witness anyone go on unemployment to come off of it and go back to work before it ceases.
    If you lose your job these days, it’s unlikely you’ll be abe to replace it with one of the same pay and caliber unless you’re willing to relocate. This forces people to either to accept lower level jobs or simply take the easy way…the goverment way…the free-way…the Obama way. This also opens up the door for the illegal aliens to absorb those low paying jobs the lazy don’t want to settle for. It’s opportunity for them, that’s why they’re here and that’s why they’ll continue to flood our country…tax-free! This is a vicious circle that is counter-productive to the growth and well-being of this great country and it’s tax paying, productive citizens. The sad part is that no matter how in-your-face this obvious problem becomes, Americas leaders sit on their hands, spend billions on fake re-election campaigns and devise more inconspicuous ways to tax the remaining juice out of the working and productive sector of American society.

  • Guest6858 says:

    Well said Guesttenheimer !!

  • Shirley says:

    To reply to the person who thinks that we are just sitting on our @sses and doing nothing only shows me that that person has no idea what it is like to be out of work and over 50. I have been looking for over a year and a half now..and all I get told is you are either over qualified or without them coming out and saying it I am too old for them. One place I went even asked me my age!! I rather be working than be at home. I cannot afford to take a low paying job or work more than one job, and still pay my rent and all my other bills. It wont work..because I have tried it..I even cleaned houses just to have some money to buy food. I am on my own with this and God knows how much I am trying to find work. So before you open your stupid mouth and critize the hard working unemployed people out there again..I say think before you speak!! And on behalf of the over 50 crowd who are hard working unemployed people..I say you and the others out there who think like you..can kiss our @sses!! God Bless us all!

  • SurfCityTom says:

    Lowes; Walmart; Kmart; McDonald’s; Burger King; Pizza Hut?

    There’s 6 for starters. They are hiring; and I’ve seen recent hires in their 60s on site in our area.

    Jobs are out there?

    Have you reinvented yourself? Considered a contract position where the employer does not provide benefits?

    Plenty of jobs out there.

    Not judging you; but you do need to think outside of the box.

  • vickimiguel2002 says:

    SurfcityTOm- Have you tried McDonald’s, Lowes, etc? ….. Let me guess, either you don’t have to work or YOU HAVE A JOB!!!!!! Don’t judge until you are in the other set of shoes. Better yet”, Judgement is mine sayeth the LORD! So that simple means” DON’T JUDGE”!

  • SurfCityTom says:

    anyone reading the post, who has more than a second grade level for reading comprehension, can see I was offering suggestions to someone who had asked for them.

    I would suggest you go back to school and pay attention this time.

  • vickimiguel2002 says:


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