Dale Folwell

Assistant Secretary for the Division of Employment Security celebrated the state's unemployment trust fund surplus, on Thursday. Governor McCrory stood over his left should, while Secretary of Commerce John Skvarla looked on as well.
Jeff Tiberii

State officials are celebrating a $1 billion surplus in the North Carolina unemployment trust fund. The Wednesday announcement represents a significant swing from just two and a half years ago when the state owed the federal government $2.8 billion. This past May, the state paid down its debt a year before the due date. The savings have continued.

"Today I am very proud to announce the following - that we have built up our unemployment reserve fund to more than $1 billion," said Governor Pat McCrory before a crowd at the Employment Security Commission.

Unemployment lines
Wikimedia

State officials have paid down $2.8 billion owed to the federal government. The debt came from money used to pay unemployment benefits during the recession.

That debt climbed to $2.8 billion in early 2013. Months later, lawmakers then passed controversial House Bill 4, which did the following:

resume and glasses
Flazingo Photos / Flickr/Creative Commons

The state Commerce Department is behind a major jump in the number of weekly job searches claimants must have to collect benefits.

Dale Folwell is Assistant Commerce Secretary for Employment Security and he supports increasing weekly documented job searches from two to five.

“So we think this will increase the velocity of people getting off the unemployment rolls and looking for work," said Folwell.

Folwell says the current system was confusing for some people.  He says his office decided to cut the confusion and add searches at the same time.

Dale Folwell, Assistant Commerce Secretary for Employment Security, wants job seekers to verify more work searches per week.
NC Commerce

The state Division of Employment Security has the OK from the U.S. Department of  Labor to stop providing attorneys with hearing notices of unemployed workers.

Attorneys say that having access to notices of  jobless workers who are preparing to face-off with their former employer over benefits helps both parties.  It’s business for the attorney and counsel for the claimant.

But word from the the Department of Labor calls on DES to cease the practice of providing such confidential information.

Dale Folwell, Assistant Commerce Secretary for Employment Security, wants job seekers to verify more work searches per week.
NC Commerce

Thousands of jobless North Carolinians have been waiting for several weeks to get their first unemployment check.  State officials say they hope to have that back-log under control this month.

Assistant Commerce Secretary Dale Folwell heads the employment agency responsible for making sure the unemployed get their checks.

“Anytime there’s one case in our backlog, that’s one too many," said Folwell.

DES Office
Leoneda Inge

For ten years, North Carolina attorneys have had access to a daily list of unemployed workers who are scheduled for appeal hearings.   Most of these people had their unemployment claims denied and are appealing the decision. 

But last week, the Division of Employment Security said it would no longer provide a daily list of these hearings.  A Durham attorney is fighting back and has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Commerce and its employment division.

Four Republicans hope to do with the office of Lieutenant Governor what their party did for both houses of the General Assembly two years ago: take it away from the Democrats. Gurnal Scott reports as part of our series on the primary election campaigns.