High unemployment persists in North Carolina, more than two years after the official start of the economic recovery and many of those who are working are slipping into poverty, unable to work enough hours or earn an adequate wage.

The roster of laid-off State Employees continues to grow.   A new center has opened to specifically help them get back on their feet.

Margaret Jordan is spokeswoman for the Office of State Personnel.  She says this is the first time the state has needed to open its own Career Transition Center.

Many companies are still slow to bring back workers during the down economy.   But staffing agencies are busier than ever.

One of the largest staffing agencies in the country is Kelly Services.   And today they’re hosting a job fair at the McKimmon Center at N-C State.

Andrew Crawford is the North Carolina territory Vice President for Kelly Services.  He says over the last couple of years they didn’t need to have many job fairs because of the high number of job candidates.

Thousands of jobs are on the chopping block at Cisco Systems.  But analysts wonder if that’s enough to turn the company around.   Inge reports.

The 6,500 lay-offs at Cisco are no surprise.

Emily Chang - Bloomberg TV:  "Reports of impending layoffs have been circulating for weeks at the networking giant looks for ways to slash a billion dollars."

North Carolina's unemployment rate held steady at 9-point-7 percent in May. The rate has been constant for the last three months. The state unemployment figure is more than half a percent higher than the national rate. Larry Parker with the state Employment Security Commission says these numbers are indicative of the sluggish economy.

Larry Parker: "I think what we're seeing is what we've seen over the last six or seven or eight months. the economy is very static right now. there have not been major gains in the job force it is just a very very slow recovery."

North Carolina’s Employment Security Commission is in the process of re-evaluating extended benefits for thousands of residents.  Some jobless residents are getting back payments thanks to an executive order signed by the governor. 

About 47-thousand jobless residents are getting a second look by the E-S-C. That’s after Governor Bev.  Perdue’s executive order, restoring an extended jobless benefits program for the long-term unemployed. Larry Parker is a spokesman for the E-S-C.   He says as soon as they confirm the status of claimants – money is being disbursed right away.

State lawmakers have not come to an agreement over restoring unemployment benefits for 37 thousand people across the state.

Republican leaders in Raleigh say they plan to try to override the governor's veto of a bill that would have extended federal unemployment benefits. The governor vetoed the measure Saturday because it was tied to a provision that would've required her to cut next year's budget by 13 percent. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger says he thinks the governor made a bad decision. 

State lawmakers have voted to extend unemployment benefits for North Carolinians for up to four additional months. But the measure would also force the governor to accept a spending cut.

 Both the House and the Senate have now passed House Bill 383. It would extend unemployment benefits for about 37 thousand workers who otherwise would stop receiving their checks as of Saturday. Republican Paul Stam is the House Majority Leader.

Every corner of the state is experiencing a decline in its unemployment rate.  The largest decline was in Graham County.

The state’s extended benefits program for the long-term unemployed is about to end. About 37-thousand people will lose their benefits.