As state legislators contemplate the future of unemployment benefits, the health of Michigan’s economy hangs in the balance.
Michigan’s quick recovery, largely thanks to the automotive sector working double time after two months of lost production, has stalled out.
Jobs posts remain well below January levels and long-term unemployment is on the rise. More than 230,000 unemployed Michiganders entered the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program between Aug. 29 and Sept. 19, according to U.S. Department of Labor data.
That system pays benefits for those unemployed longer than 26 weeks. In other words, hundreds of thousands of Michiganders have been laid off since March with no sign of returning to a job. The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity has failed to tell Crain’s just how many people would be impacted if an agreement to extend benefits isn’t reached.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office claims as many as 800,000 in