And most of it can be traced back to the GOP:
If the expiration occurs, North Carolinians would receive up to 26 weeks of regular state benefits rather than what had been up to 99 weeks of state and federal benefits. This means anyone whose job was terminated or ended after June 30 will not get any more federal unemployment benefits.
Leaving them to rely exclusively on the absent sympathy of NC Republicans:
However, some Republicans in Congress and the N.C. General Assembly say that cutting off or reducing unemployment benefits may be the motivation required to get those dropouts back in the job market.
On Dec. 5, a group of Republican state legislators unveiled a plan to pay off a nearly $2.51 billion unemployment benefit debt by slightly raising business taxes, cutting the maximum payment to future jobless workers by a third and reducing the benefit period.
The maximum weekly benefit for workers would fall from the current $525 to $350, while the maximum number of weeks a jobless claimant could receive state benefits would drop from 26 weeks to 20 in periods of the highest unemployment.
Missing from that last sentence is the reduction down to 12 weeks depending on how low the enrollment goes. Which is another example of the GOP co-opting an existing trigger for their own nefarious purposes.
And as for Brother John's two cents:
John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation, a libertarian policy research group, said North Carolina should reform its unemployment-insurance system as soon as possible.
“We need to bring our benefits in line with those of competing states and end the current disincentive for recipients to take jobs they might not prefer but that would get them working again,” Hood said.
I throw those two pennies back, and add an extra quarter so he can call someone who knows what the hell they're talking about.
The vast majority of those suffering from long-term unemployment have applied to all sorts of jobs that weren't on their wish list, and received the same "nothing" in response they get from other more palatable jobs. It ain't like it used to be, where you went banging on doors to present yourself for a job. Nearly every employer these days demands online applications be filled out, and no amount of smiling or buttoned-down shirts will help you get your foot in the door.