Raleigh bars, restaurants react after Gov. Cooper allows $300 federal jobless payment to continue in NC

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Federal unemployment will continue for North Carolinians after Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoed a bill that would end the weekly $300 benefits.

Anthony DeMarco is the co-owner of DeMo’s Pizzeria and Deli in Raleigh. He said there have been job openings for months, particularly for delivery drivers.

“I’ve never seen it where you put ads out and you get literally zero responses, but that’s what we’ve got and it’s unfortunate, but we’re doing the best we can to make it work at this point,” DeMarco said.

He said he steps in to make deliveries and some employees work overtime to keep things running smoothly. He said he wishes Cooper did not veto ending federal unemployment benefits.

“Quite frankly people are making a good bit of living obviously just being at home not having to work,” DeMarco said.

Cooper said unemployment is declining. He also said the strengthened work search requirements and the benefits are already set to expire in a few weeks.

At a new Glenwood South bar The Ark Royal, managing partner William Warcup said he’s always open to more employees, but is fine with his current staffing levels.

“I’m very lucky and found a good amount of people,” Warcup said.

CBS 17 asked him for his thoughts on the veto.

“I’m pretty indifferent to what the decision was, and so far I’ve still been getting occasional applicants,” Warcup said. “It hasn’t been hurting me.”

Some Republican lawmakers who voted for the bill said it would help with the labor shortage.

North Carolina State University economics professor Michael Walden cites three reasons people are not returning to work: federal unemployment benefits, lack of child care, and gaining new skills during the pandemic that allow them to get better-paying jobs.

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