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Latest U.S. jobless numbers show small improvement for Michigan

Jobless claims report Thursday could hit 7 million or higher
Posted at 5:35 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 17:35:16-04

(WXYZ) — Thursday's jobless report from the U.S. Department of Labor is grim, showing around 1.1 million Americans filing for unemployment insurance last week.

Executive Director of Wayne State's Office of Business Innovation Matthew Roling said the increase from last week indicates Americans are still struggling to get back on their feet during this pandemic.

“It’s not a good sign," he said. "The economists that had been polled had a consensus estimate that the jobless claims would come in at around 900,000. And ultimately we came in at around 200,000 higher than that. And that might not seem like a lot, but that's a city the size of Grand Rapids," he said.

“The recovery isn’t happening as fast as everyone would like it to.”

This, while Michigan joins the list of states that have applied for additional federal unemployment help. It will come from FEMA as part of an executive order issued by Pres. Trump. Congress has been unable to agree on a second stimulus package.

In Michigan, the slow re-opening of some businesses offers a glimmer, albeit small - of optimism. Around 2,000 fewer workers applied for unemployment help compared to the previous week.

“That’s really upsetting to those families but I think we can look into it and find some positives for Michigan’s economy," he said.

However, with Michigan's unemployment insurance just more than $362 per week, Roling said getting that federal assistant is going to be vital for the hundreds of thousands in Michigan still grappling with unemployment.

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