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Start getting paid | How to enter the workforce once again in 2021: 2 Wants to Know

Experts join 2 Wants to Know to answer questions about how the job market looks during the pandemic

GREENSBORO, N.C. — More businesses are opening up and searching for help to meet demand. 

Professor Marie-Amelie George of Wake Forest Law, Chris Rivera with Guilford Works and Will Graham of Graham Personnel Services answer job seeker questions on 2WTK. 

What to do to find a job in 2021: 

  • Check online job boards
  • Contact recruiters at staffing firms
  • Talk to friends and family
  • Seek out government offices for help 
  • Ask for referrals
  • Check social media sites
  • Your network

UNEMPLOYMENT & FEDERAL TAXES 

The IRS could be sending you another payment this summer. It's not a stimulus payment, let me explain.

If you filed your 2020 taxes already and you got unemployment income in 2020, chances are you're going to get money back from the IRS. Here's why: the American Rescue Plan allowed taxpayers to exclude up to $10,200 in unemployment benefits from their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).

Because of that, taxpayers didn't have to pay taxes on that income, but the legislation took effect after many filed returns and paid that tax. So now, Uncle Sam owes you that money back. The refunds will come automatically, you don't have to do anything. The IRS estimates the refunds will start to go out in May and will continue through the summer.

UNEMPLOYMENT & NC TAXES

The state of North Carolina is not waiving unemployment income. You'll have to add that income back in on your state return. To make it all right in the state's eyes, you'll need a D-400 Schedule S and a worksheet.  The two will help you add in the unemployment income the feds are waiving so you pay taxes on all the income. Without these forms, the state could deny your return.  

Searching for a job

Graham Personnel Services is a national firm that helps job seekers and head hunters place employees in the career field. 

To get in touch with a job recruiter, contact the company by calling (336) 288-9330 or click here.

You can also search job openings on NC Works' website, or call at (336) 297-9444.

The American Rescue Plan Act Benefits

The latest COVID-relief law keeps federal benefits going until Labor Day of 2021. It is an extra $300 a week.

$300 Federal Unemployment Benefit

How does an extra $300 sound in your unemployment check? The second Relief law included a $300 federal supplemental unemployment benefit per week from December 27, 2020, to March 13, 2021.

Did you know, this supplement is for ANYONE getting unemployment benefits?  This supplement is not tied to COVID-related job loss.

LOOKING FOR WORK REQUIREMENT

The NC Governor reinstated the work search requirements for folks on unemployment. That's the headline, but there's more to it than that.

If you're receiving unemployment benefits now, you don't have to worry about this. The work search requirement will only impact folks who file for unemployment on or after March 14, 2021.

The Governor's Executive Order was released on March 1, 2021. It not only reinstates the requirement, but it directs the North Carolina Department of Employment Security, NC DES, to have flexibility in how the requirements are met.

Why? Because in a COVID-world you can't always do things in person and there are internet issues, and transportation issues factored in.

“COVID has turned everyone upside down, especially those who have lost their jobs,” said Chris Rivera, Director of Guilford Works.

For more information on the state Department of Employment Services' pandemic aid, call (888) 847-7209 or visit their website

WHAT “FLEXIBLE” COULD MEAN FOR JOB SEARCHES

“This new Executive Order was just reimplementing this work search requirement which individuals would have to look for and maintain records of three job searches per week. The Governor is asking DES to be flexible in what they determine a work search to include. For example, a virtual workshop, virtual networking event, or a virtual job fair,” said Rivera.

WHAT “FLEXIBLE” COULD MEAN DURING SEARCH VERIFICATION

Before COVID hit, claimants had to verify their job search. Basically, they had to keep a record of who they talked to, what applications or resumes they put in, and where and when. The list wasn’t uploaded to the website, it was simply shown when asked. In this case, the DES is being asked to be flexible in how they are verifying or asking to produce it. “It could be simply a phone call with no physical list if there are internet issues, it could take a picture, or email it,” said Rivera.

EXECUTIVE ORDER INCLUDES ONLINE REGISTRATION

This order also requires individuals to register with NC Works online. “There are all sorts of benefits with that. Those who register can use that platform for work searches and the second benefit is the system maintains all the resumes and applications that are submitted. So, if their job search record is requested, they could look on their profile and print it out,” said Rivera. 

RELATED: Taxes, stimulus, and your money: 2 Wants to Know

RELATED: The IRS could be sending you a second tax refund this summer.

RELATED: If you want all your stimulus money, you'll need to file your taxes

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