Gov. Pat McCrory signs unemployment insurance bill

Gov. Pat McCrory

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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