Jobless claims fall again, sign Michigan economy is improving

New jobless claims in Michigan fell again last week, a potentially good sign that the state’s economy is slowly improving.

New claims in Michigan fell to 15,108 in the week ending Aug. 29 from 19,997 the previous week, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. Last year at this time, there were about 4,400 new jobless claims in the state.

Nationally, new jobless claims fell to 833,352 that week, an increase of 7,591 claims from the previous week, not seasonally adjusted.

Thursday’s report marks a new way to report new unemployment claims for the US Department of Labor. The department adjusts its numbers to account for predictable seasonal patterns, such as summer shutdowns of manufacturing plants near the July 4 holiday or when temporary workers are laid off after the Christmas season. The move will provide a more accurate picture of the labor market, the department said, but it means the numbers won’t be comparable to previous weeks.

However, the numbers are unlikely to alter the broader economic picture.

In Michigan, new jobless claims peaked in early April at nearly 400,000 and have generally declined since then, except for a spike near the end of June when coronavirus cases increased and the economy reopened. state has been suspended.

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Employees who have been terminated or terminated no longer receive the $600 federal unemployment benefit. The claimants received welcome news last month, when President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would add an additional $300 to regular state benefits.

The $300 weekly benefit will be retroactive to August 1. Michigan will begin processing the benefit next week, the director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency told Michigan lawmakers in Lansing on Thursday.

It will last three weeks, at least initially, said Steve Gray, director of the agency, during a legislative hearing. That means recent filers, or Michiganders applying for benefits in the coming weeks, likely won’t receive the benefit, Gray said.

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Some filers have still not received benefits during the pandemic. There are about 40,000 unpaid claimants in Michigan, either because they need to submit more information to verify their identity, or in the case of 14,000 filers, they are awaiting a review of their claim, the department said Wednesday. state work.

The state said $22 billion in benefits had been paid to 2.1 million filers, or 98% of potentially eligible certifying claimants since March 15.

Contact Adrienne Roberts: [email protected]