LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An additional 219,000 people in Michigan filed for unemployment last week, bringing the total number who have lost their jobs in the coronavirus pandemic to more than 1 million — a staggering quarter of the state’s workforce.
The initial claims were among 5.2 million nationally, the federal government reported Thursday.
“We appreciate the patience of our working families as we process the historic need for benefits,” said Jeff Donofrio, director of the state Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. He said there are roughly 745,000 people currently receiving payments, double the highest active total in the Great Recession.
“We know there is more work to do to improve our systems and we’re committed to quickly providing every dollar of emergency financial assistance our workers are entitled to,” Donofrio said.