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Federal unemployment benefits can discourage job hunting

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Modified: March 5, 2014 at 7:47 am •  Published: March 5, 2014
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North Carolina's situation is worth noting because some suggest Oklahoma's unemployment benefits program also needs improvement. In his recent Policy and Issues Report, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb says a functional unemployment system provides an important safety net. But Lamb notes many business leaders warn of “a disquieting 'culture' penetrating our state” in which unemployment benefits are being abused or treated as an entitlement.

“Unemployment compensation should be for those workers, who through no fault of their own find themselves displaced,” Lamb writes. “It should not, how-ever, be a refuge for those terminated because of misconduct on the job. While that is already the law, business leaders have personal experience that this is not being enforced. It is vital that Oklahoma ensures that the new unemployment compensation laws allowing employers to discharge for misconduct and not pay unemployment compensation are properly enforced.”

In North Carolina, it appears many citizens previously chose taxpayer support over gainful employment. In Oklahoma, Lamb argues unemployment benefits are not only benefiting those who could otherwise obtain work, but also those who are flagrantly scamming the system. That's good reason to increase oversight of the system and keep benefits in check.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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