unemployment

Study: Michigan avoided slow job growth by extending COVID unemployment benefits

BY: - September 24, 2021

In July, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a GOP bill that would have ended emergency COVID-19 unemployment benefits two months before they were set to expire. That decision likely prevented Michigan from being one of many states that saw substantially less job growth by axing those benefits early, according to a new study released Friday by […]

Unemployment head tells House panel she ‘absolutely’ takes responsibility for agency failures

BY: - September 9, 2021

Liza Estlund Olson, the acting director of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA), testified before a state House panel Thursday on unemployment system problems since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Olson’s appearance before the Oversight Committee comes after Republican lawmakers have leveled withering criticism at the Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer administration over its handling of […]

Federal pandemic jobless benefits are gone. Experts say state lawmakers must now protect workers.

BY: - September 9, 2021

Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders saw their COVID-related federal jobless aid end this week, leaving individuals and families to face yet another onslaught of challenges in a pandemic that is far from over — from state unemployment laws that policy experts said are riddled with problems to unaffordable childcare barring people from returning to the […]

States that borrowed from feds to cover unemployment comp checks are about to owe interest

BY: - September 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Ten states that struggled to pay the mounting costs of rising unemployment compensation claims during the COVID-19 pandemic will face yet another challenge starting Monday: interest accruing on federal loans they relied on to cover payments to the unemployed. Collectively, those states — which include Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — owe the federal […]

Wentworth calls on Whitmer to fire state unemployment head

BY: - August 26, 2021

Updated, 4:49 p.m., with comments from Whitmer’s office As the deadline for workers to claim federal unemployment benefits is set to run out in 10 days on Sept. 4, Liza Estlund Olson, the acting director of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency, will testify before a state House panel.  Olson agreed to appear before the Oversight Committee […]

Stress, fatigue and fading hopes of ‘normalcy’ as Michigan surpasses 20K COVID deaths

BY: and - August 17, 2021

Just over 17 months ago in March 2020, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that the first case of COVID-19 had made its way into Michigan — kickstarting a period of uncertainty, change, hardships and a unified desire for “normalcy.” Now, the deadly virus has infected 922,687 Michiganders in total. The state hit the grim milestone of […]

Whitmer vetoes GOP bill axing pandemic jobless benefits

BY: - July 21, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday vetoed a Republican bill that would have ended emergency unemployment benefits in Michigan. Under House Bill 4344, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Yaroch (R-Richmond), Michigan would have followed what 26 red states have done and ended the $300 per week supplemental federal jobless benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic that has left […]

COMMENTARY

Rick Haglund: How COVID-19 was a ‘giant sledgehammer’ to the labor market

BY: - June 29, 2021

Twenty-six states, all run by Republican governors, are trying to force workers laid off in the devastating COVID-19 pandemic back to work by cutting off the $300 per week in enhanced federal jobless benefits they’ve been receiving. Pushed by employers who contend the extra cash makes it more lucrative for workers to stay home than […]

Michigan gets $3.8M in federal cash to help unemployed

BY: - June 28, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) have announced $3.8 million in federal funds have been awarded to the state’s Michigan Works! network to provide reemployment services to help eligible unemployed Michigan residents return to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “This $3.8 million investment is yet another boost to […]

House passes bipartisan budget with record-high school funding

BY: - June 25, 2021

With less than a week to go before the state Legislature’s July 1 budget deadline, the Michigan House passed a bipartisan budget plan Thursday night that had been negotiated with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The budget for the next fiscal year includes Whitmer’s proposal to make a record investment in K-12 public schools, and closes the […]

COMMENTARY

Column: The Legislature needs to strengthen unemployment insurance, not weaken it

BY: - June 21, 2021

COVID-altered life in Michigan continues to reveal the inadequacy of many of our state’s social policies and safety net systems, and a new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) demonstrates how Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance policies are falling short in providing an adequate and effective safety net for unemployed workers. The Michigan Legislature […]

House votes to end $300 bonus in unemployment benefits

BY: - June 18, 2021

The Michigan House passed a bill Thursday that would eliminate the extra $300 in federal unemployment benefits for Michigan residents. House Bill 4434, introduced by Lori Stone (D-Warren), was originally intended to ensure the Unemployment Insurance Agency uses “plain language” for “correspondence and documents related to the taxes of employers and the benefits of individuals, […]