RALEIGH, North Carolina — It's unclear whether North Carolina's unemployment insurance office will meet its goal on clearing a backlog of initial claims that grew as office workers became more deliberative about whether someone qualifies for benefits.
Division of Employment Security chief Dale Folwell told lawmakers last month he hoped to eliminate 12,000 unresolved benefit claims by the end of March. Folwell gave the same backlog number Wednesday after a legislative oversight committee meeting.
He says the productivity of division workers has been hurt by weather-related delays but is optimistic the backlog can be quickly eliminated.
The backlog grew late last year to ensure jobless workers were not being overpaid. More time is needed to examine the case when employer and employee explanations about why the person no longer works do not match.