Big changes are coming for the Michiganders still out of work and perceiving unemployment.
The changes are expected to return at the end of May, and the unemployed will once again have to prove that they are actively looking for work. This means contacting at least two employers per week.
This is a great development that will impact the hundreds of thousands of Michiganders who are currently receiving public unemployment assistance.
Proving that you are looking for a job was previously a requirement for state unemployment benefits, but it was dropped early in the pandemic. Today, many fear that this has delayed the incentive to re-enter the labor market.
In a House Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday, the head of the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency said Michiganders who are currently receiving state unemployment benefits will once again have to prove that ‘they contacted two employers per week.
The reinstatement of the job search requirement comes as many state companies say they are struggling to find workers.
With additional help, unemployed Michiganders can receive up to $ 662 per week.
Wendy Block, vice president of corporate advocacy and member engagement at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, said she received phone calls and emails with people desperate for workers.
The job search requirement returns with the possibility of a silver lining – a $ 1,000 grant to those who find a job.
This is part of the $ 12.7 billion in relief spending proposed for COVID-19. The provision included in supplemental budget bills approved by the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.
If passed, the grants would be available to a maximum of $ 400,000, nearly half of those receiving unemployment benefits.
The plan, according to the UIA, is to reinstate the job search requirement by the end of May, but that could be sooner depending on how the technology works.
The UIA head of state said many people who are currently receiving unemployment benefits have not received it before, so they are unfamiliar with the demands of job search.
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