COVID-19

As Michigan shuts down, unemployment agency preps for more applicants

Michigan's unemployment agency is getting ready for an expected second wave of layoffs after orders to "pause" many businesses go into effect.

New restrictions meant to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan went into effect Wednesday morning. They include halting dine-in service at bars and restaurants, among other rules that many expect will lead to a wave of new layoffs.

Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) says it is more prepared to deal with the influx of new applicants than it was in the spring, according to an article on MLive.

Get Encore, Kalamazoo's lifestyle and culture magazine, sent to your home for free.

Click here to sign up.

“The UIA has increased capacity, improved workflow and other internal systems and reduced red tape to meet the unprecedented level of claims that have been filed since the pandemic began,” said UIA’s acting director Liza Estlund Olson.

More than 2.2 million Michiganders have used Michigan’s unemployment system at some point since the pandemic began in March. That’s nearly a quarter of the state. Nearly a million are still receiving unemployment pay.

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association estimates that another 250,000 people could be laid off in just the hospitality industry over the holiday season. That doesn’t factor in bowling alleys, movie theaters, and other venues ordered closed for the next three weeks.

You can read more here.