Michigan Unemployment Claims Exceeds 100,000 Amidst COVID-19 Crisis

The state-mandated shutdown of restaurants, bars, nail salons, and other local businesses to flatten the curve of COVID-19 has caused a tremendous increase in demand for Michigan’s unemployment system.

The latest data shows 108,710 unemployment claims were filed between last Monday and Friday, compared to a normal average of around 5,000 claims – an approximate 2,100% increase. States from around the country have experienced similar increases in unemployment claims as a result of COVID-19. Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) benefits are funded by a $4.6 billion trust fund which has been built up over the last 10 years.

“We understand that COVID-19 has caused economic harm to our workers as sacrifices are made to protect all of our residents. Extending and expanding unemployment benefits has provided emergency relief to many Michiganders,” said Jeff Donofrio, director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “Even though we’ve seen an unprecedented need for emergency financial assistance, Michigan’s unemployment system, and its hardworking staff, continue to provide critical help online and over the phone.

Last week Gov. Whitmer announced the state’s small businesses were eligible for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Michiganders impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic should continue to visit michigan.gov/UIA or call 866-500-0017 to apply for benefits.”

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