Even as Michigan’s economy slowly opens, new jobless claims are filed

Michiganders filed nearly 58,000 new jobless claims last week, a sign that even as parts of the state reopen, the pandemic shutdown is still causing economic hardship.

Even the spokesperson for the labor department is on temporary layoff this week.

Since March, more than a third of the state’s workforce has applied for unemployment benefits.

The national unemployment agency is now warning that false claims are being filed at the national level as part of an international criminal network, although it appears that personal data is safe.

“Impostor claims are filed using previously stolen or fraudulent personal information,” the state said, adding that the criminals “pose as self-employed or independent contractors to illegally obtain benefits.”

The secret services have also issued a national alert.

But, this also comes as the Internal Revenue Service alert folks that the simple envelope in the mail that is marked “Money Network Cardholder Services” with a prepaid debit card is real stimulus money, not a scam.

Michigan recorded 57,714 new claims for the week ending May 23, according to US Department of Labor data released Thursday. Michigan had one of the highest insured unemployment rates, after Washington, Nevada, Florida and Hawaii.

Claims are an indicator of layoffs, although there are likely to be more laid-off workers than the claims numbers reflect, including those who did not claim benefits, people who quit and recent workers. graduates looking for a job.

Thomas Hyland, 55, said Thursday he was made redundant along with six other people from Temple Israel in West Bloomfield and filed his claim, but he still has not received unemployment benefits.

“As frustrating as it may be, I’m not angry,” said Hyland, who cares for her 84-year-old mother in Warren. “But what he does in uncertain times is make people stress and anxious. It tires people out, and having that kind of financial worry isn’t good, you know what I’m saying? “

More than 1.71 million claims have been made in Michigan since March 15, with the state sending $ 5.62 billion in benefits to 1.37 million eligible applicants through May 13, the department said. work.

And new University of Michigan Metro Detroit Communities Survey showed that 43% of Detroiters who were employed before COVID-19 are now unemployed, either temporarily or permanently.

About half of Detroit residents said they expected to run out of money over the next three months due to the pandemic, and 20% said they definitely would, according to the study.

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Nationally, workers filed 2.1 million claims for the week ending May 23, according to the US Department of Labor. This brings the number of jobless claims since the coronavirus outbreak in March to more than 40 million, or a quarter of the working population.

For eight consecutive weeks, fewer claims have been filed each week, a good sign that there is some improvement, but weekly claims are still 10 times higher than they were before the pandemic.

Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or [email protected]

Apply for unemployment

Go online at Michigan.gov/UIA. Names beginning with AL file claims on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Names starting with MZ on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Saturdays are for those who couldn’t drop off the rest of the week.

Or call 866-500-0017. Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Names beginning with AL are filed Monday and Wednesday. Names starting with MZ Tuesday and Thursday. Fridays and Saturdays are reserved for all those who could not call on the designated days.