LANSING — Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) announced today some remarkable numbers. $5.62 billion in unemployment benefits have been paid to 1,374,751 workers since March 15, with a further total number of 1,717,555 claimants having applied for state and federal benefits.
The UIA marks March 15 as the “onset of the crisis.” The state claims it has led the way in the country for expediting and speeding up the unemployment claims process. This includes Governor Whitmer’s recent executive order sweeping more than 100,000 non-monetary issues off of accounts, accelerating payments to individuals, the state said.
|UIA Data March 15 – May 13, 2020
|Total unique claims (State and Federal)
|Claimants determined ineligible for benefits
|Total unique eligible claims (State and Federal)
|Claimants Receiving Benefits
|Claimants eligible for certification (now or shortly)
|Total claimants paid or eligible for payment
|Percent paid or eligible
|Claimants with non-monetary hold (due to federal rules)
|Claimants with prior UIA claim issues
|Total claimants requiring adjudication
|Percent of total
|Michigan compared to other states
Among the first states to:
Michigan announces pay cuts for state employees
Lansing also announced measures today to offset its budget deficit that has been caused by the sate’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan will now participate in a federal “Work Share” program, with impacted state employees taking two temporary layoff days per pay period beginning Sunday, May 17 until July 25, resulting in up to $80 million in decreased wage costs.
“As we continue to combat COVID-19, it’s clear that we’re facing unprecedented challenges that will lead to serious budget implications for the state of Michigan,” Governor Whitmer said. “Utilizing this federal program keeps state employees working so they can continue to provide critical services to Michiganders and protects their paychecks, so they can continue to support their families.”
The change will impact more than 31,000 state employees. The program lets Michigan keep its staff but with reduced hours, with the employees collecting partial unemployment benefits to make up a portion of the lost wages. State managers at the 17 level and above will not participate in Work Share but will take one layoff day every other pay period, resulting in an approximate 5 percent reduction in gross pay.
Lansing said affected employees will keep their health insurance and other benefits and will be automatically enrolled into the unemployment process to help ensure they have the support they need during this challenging time. Last month, Governor Whitmer announced she was taking a 10 percent pay cut and directed her executive team and cabinet appointees to take a 5 percent pay cut for the remainder of the fiscal year. Additionally, the Executive Office of the Governor will participate in the Work Share program.
The layoff program doesn’t apply to front-line workers. Law enforcement agencies, prison employees, veterans’ homes and other key health and human services will all stay fully staffed.