Thousands could lose benefits

A sign for job assistance and family planning at a job training facility.

November 25, 2009 5:44:02 PM PST
The number of unemployed workers in North Carolina who could lose their jobless benefits has now risen to a staggering 300 thousand.

All of those people - now in limbo - will likely have to wait through the holidays to find out if a new extension is approved by Congress.

Meanwhile, the job market is so bad that some who have managed to find work during the recession now find themselves without a job again. That's the case with one Holly Springs family.

Patrick Worthy was making lunch at home Wednesday - and not because he ran out during his lunch break. Worthy, the patriarch of a family of four, is without a job for the second time.

We first introduced Worthy and his family to ABC11 Eyewitness News viewers a little over a year ago at the Raleigh unemployment office. Back then, Worthy had been here about a year after leaving Poughkeepsie in a quest for work.

He took a job here even though it was outside his healthcare field. His wife, a grown son, and another in high school came to join him.

"I looked on the website from New York and saw an abundance of jobs in my field," explained wife Evelyn in October 2008.

But within weeks of arriving, the bottom fell out of the job market. And, Evelyn Worthy found herself applying for benefits for the first time in her life because the Triangle boom disappeared.

Her oldest son Michael joined her in the unemployment line. Within weeks, though, both found work and the family settled into their Holly Springs home. But then several weeks ago, a bombshell.

"I find myself out of work," said Patrick.

But this will not be an unhappy Thanksgiving. Worthy says he's got plenty to be thankful for and he's confident that as the local economy slowly improves he'll find another job.

"With my networking and with going on the internet daily, I'm sure that things will turn around," he offered.

So sure, that Worthy says he's not going to worry about whether or not Congress extends additional unemployment benefits beyond December 31.

"When you find yourself in a situation, you know, when you're hoping and trusting in Congress or the White House to do something you have to be assured that the good Lord will see you through," he said.

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