Updated: Trump signs behemoth $2T COVID-19 response bill

BY: - March 27, 2020

Updated, 3:39 p.m., 3/27/20 with additional comments WASHINGTON — A $2 trillion bill to aid workers, health care providers and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic is poised to become law following its passage in the U.S. House on Friday. President Trump signed it Friday afternoon with a ceremony to which he only invited Republicans. Many […]

130K Michiganders filed for unemployment last week

BY: - March 27, 2020

New figures from the U.S. Department of Labor show more than 129,000 Michigan residents reported being out of work last week, an indicator of the continued impacts COVID-19 shutdowns are having on the economy.  Nationwide, almost 3.3 million Americans filed unemployment insurance claims in the week ending Saturday, per the Labor Department. The data comes […]


Column: Workers left out of govt., business response to COVID-19

BY: - March 23, 2020

As the coronavirus crisis unfolds, workers and families around the country are finding out how weak the U.S. social safety net is. Almost three-quarters of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. About 30% of the workforce lacks employer-paid health insurance. One-third of workers lack paid sick leave. Most of those working in the self-employed economy as independent […]

COVID-19 has made immigrants fear seeking care, while Asian Americans feel Trump made them ‘targets’

BY: - March 22, 2020

The phones have been ringing off the hook at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. The voices coming through are a chorus on repeat: I’ve been laid off. What do I do now? How do I feed my family? Am I eligible for unemployment? Will I be deported if I go to the doctor? What do […]

Michigan jobless claims skyrocket 550%, experts say big stimulus needed to stop COVID-19 recession

BY: - March 20, 2020

Goldman Sachs estimates about 2.25 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims this week in the wake of job layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If that prediction proves to be accurate, it would be the highest number of filings on record.  What can be done? A “large fiscal stimulus” is needed to stave off an […]

COVID-19 impact: Some jobless benefits extended; gyms, movie theaters, other businesses shut down

BY: - March 16, 2020

Some Michiganders won’t have to worry about how they’ll afford to feed their families or keep the lights on.   That’s due to new action from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday. She signed two new executive orders in response to COVID-19, a disease caused by a new coronavirus. One will temporarily expand eligibility for unemployment benefits […]


Column: Here’s what lawmakers must do to help people amid the coronavirus pandemic

BY: - March 13, 2020

Now that it has officially landed in Michigan, COVID-19 is a potential threat to all residents.  Unfortunately, both the risks of the disease itself and its economic repercussions will adversely affect Michigan residents with lower incomes — the very people my colleagues and I at the nonpartisan Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) are charged […]

State appeals unemployment fraud case to Supreme Court

BY: - January 18, 2020

The state of Michigan appealed this week a case to the state Supreme Court from victims of faulty unemployment fraud claims. A Michigan Court of Appeals panel last month ruled that the case, Bauserman v. Unemployment Insurance Agency, could go forward. More than 40,000 people were falsely accused of fraud by the Unemployment Insurance Agency […]

Michigan’s economy in 2020: Could be better, could be worse

BY: - January 11, 2020

More than a decade out from the start of the 2008 recession, Michigan is still facing a challenging environment for economic growth. Nonetheless, the state’s economy is expected to pick up over time – even if it is slower than Michiganders would like. This is according to top economists from the University of Michigan and […]


Column: Myths around mental illness cause high rates of unemployment

BY: - January 5, 2020

Even though mental illness affects one in five adults – and depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide – secrecy and stigma around the issue continue. The problem is especially acute in the workplace. While individuals with mental illness often wish to work and are able to, their unemployment rates remain three to four […]

Michigan unemployment system victims to get their day in court

BY: - December 5, 2019

Thousands of people were falsely accused of unemployment insurance fraud in Michigan, thanks to an automated computer system. Now a Court of Appeals panel has ruled their class-action lawsuit against the state of Michigan will be heard. In a published opinion issued Thursday in Bauserman v. Unemployment Insurance Agency, judges ruled against the state, allowing […]


Susan J. Demas: Under Rick Snyder, poor people were always guilty before being proven innocent

BY: - November 18, 2019

Thousands of low-income Michiganders will soon be subjected to needlessly cruel new rules just so they can get basic health care. Michigan’s Medicaid work requirements kick in on Jan. 1, courtesy of the last GOP-controlled Legislature. (The current GOP-led body has shown zero interest in pausing them, despite pleading from the current Democratic Gov. Gretchen […]