Gov. Pat McCrory signs unemployment insurance bill

GASTONIA, N.C. -- Unemployment insurance legislation signed by Gov. Pat McCrory includes likely early relief for businesses paying extra taxes and increased requirements for benefit recipients looking for work.

The governor visited a Gastonia job placement office for Thursday's bill-signing ceremony.

The measure raises the minimum number of weekly job contacts an unemployed worker must make to keep qualifying for benefits from two to five. A tax surcharge on businesses also could be eliminated several months early next year once the state builds up enough reserves for future benefits as a 2013 law requires.

McCrory's office also highlighted anti-fraud provisions targeting both employers and employees.

The 2013 law accelerated the elimination of $2.5 billion in debt owed the federal government to cover benefits through some higher taxes and lower maximum benefits.

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