Fighting Long-Term Unemployment Through the North Carolina Back to Work Program - John T. Orcutt - Improving Finances and Job Opportunities Skip to main content

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Fighting Long-Term Unemployment Through the North Carolina Back to Work Program



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For the thousands of North Carolina families experiencing financial roadblocks due to long-term unemployment, it may often seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. That’s where initiatives like the Back to Work program come into play and give many people access to new job opportunities in a recovering NC economy.

If you have been without work for a long period of time, it hurts more than just your financial situation. According to a new study, it also hurts your chances of landing a steady job. Visiting scholar at the Boston Fed and PhD candidate, Rand Ghayad decided to send out several resumes for a position. Each of the resumes were identical…except for the length of time the “candidate” was unemployed. According to his data, Ghayad showed that the longer the applicant was without work, the less likely they were to receive a call back for an interview.

Studies like these only make the Back to Work program all the more valuable. The program itself provides you with skills training and is designed to get you credential attainment in high-growth or recession-proof industries. It is targeted to those people who have been unemployed for at least 26 weeks or more and those who have run out of unemployment benefits. In a nutshell, the program makes hiring the long-term unemployed beneficial to employers.

North Carolina’s Back to Work program first began in August 2012. Officials hope that it will successfully address the unique job challenges facing thousands of people around the country who struggle with long-term joblessness. Sixteen community colleges around the state applied to become Back to Work sites and were accepted. More campuses are expected to be added in the future.

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The Back to Work program helps you to gain the skills and credentials needed to find a better paying job, which is vital to financial recovery. A new study came out earlier this year, showing that the average American’s paycheck (when compared to the overall economy) is the lowest it has been since 1966. That’s pretty amazing when you consider that minimum wage was around $1.60 an hour during the late 60’s. $1.60 during 1966 is equivalent to around $10.27 in today’s market. When you do the math, it means that average working North Carolinians are making less than they did over 40 years ago. And the cost of living certainly has increased over 40 years, so is it any surprise that thousands of people are in a financial crisis?

Even with the nation in an economic recovery, more than one million people still file for bankruptcy each year. Due to long-term-unemployment, the most common type of filing is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 allows you to discharge your debts and does not require you to make any payments to creditors.

In order to be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must now pass a means test which compares your income to the average median income based on the size of your family in North Carolina. If you have been unemployed for a long time, passing the means test should be relatively simple.



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For those people who make more than North Carolina’s median income and do not pass the means test, but still have more debt than you can handle, filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a better solution. Filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires you to pay back a portion of your debts, depending on your income and what you can afford to pay.

If you are unemployed or are struggling to pay your bills each month, consider contacting a local North Carolina bankruptcy lawyer. Bankruptcy protection can offer you a fresh financial start and a peace of mind knowing that your future will be better, no matter what your job situation is today.


Dedicated to helping residents of North Carolina find the best solutions to their debt problems. Don’t waste another day worrying about your debt. Call 1-888-234-4181 today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your bankruptcy options.

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