Carolina Journal’s Dan Way reports on unemployment rhetoric from progressives that has made its way into the media.

This is the final week 70,000 jobless workers in North Carolina will receive a federal emergency unemployment compensation check. But Dale Folwell, the state official in charge of jobless benefits, says reports claiming that as many as 170,000 unemployed state residents might lose federal benefits by the end of the year are bogus.

Democrats and liberal activists blame the GOP-led General Assembly and Republican Gov. Pat McCrory for the loss of benefits, citing a law passed this session that will retire a $2.5 billion debt to the federal government on an accelerated schedule. Meantime, Republican legislative leaders say North Carolina’s 2012 congressional delegation — which was dominated by Democrats at the time — failed to protect state workers when they had an opportunity to ask the Obama administration for a waiver that would keep the federal benefits coming.

The dispute over how many North Carolinians eventually will be affected continues. Folwell, North Carolina’s assistant secretary of employment security, said “the 170,000 is a number that the [U.S.] Department of Labor is using under a completely false assumption” — the assumption that no unemployed person will accept a job until all unemployment insurance benefits are exhausted. 

“The fact is that every week [an unemployed person applies for benefits], you have to certify that you are ready, that you are able, that you are seeking, and that you are available for work.” Folwell said the Labor Department’s extrapolation doesn’t take those factors into account.

The current estimate of 170,000 is nearly double the 87,000 who were expected to lose benefits immediately when Congress initially planned to end emergency federal unemployment compensation at the end of 2012. 

Folwell said he never saw a projection of how much higher that number would be over the entire calendar year of 2013, adding, “Nobody’s ever been able to tell me how they got that [170,000] number.”

And now you know the facts.