The federal government has been giving generously each week to the unemployed people in Michigan and around the country.  The federal government started to give a $600 dollars a week bump to unemployed people in early April of 2020.

Here in Michigan, if you were collecting the highest amount you could collect from Michigan of $362 dollars that raised your weekly unemployment checks to $962 dollars per week which translates to $24.05 per hour or slightly over $50,000 per year.

Great not a job if you can get it!

That $600 dollar a week added to unemployed Michiganders checks ended at the end of July of 2020.  At that time the federal government reduced those $600 dollar bump to $300 dollars a week.  That gave unemployed Michigander weekly checks in the amount of $662 dollars which translates to $16.55 per hour or slightly over $34,000 per year.

These weekly, hourly and yearly amounts actually turned out to be higher because they did not have to pay any federal income or payroll tax on those federal bumps.

Many have blamed these extra payments for the slower than should have been expected economic recovery.  Many businesses were unable to fill their open positions due to the fact that the government was paying people more money to sit at home than to go to work.

Now the $300 dollars a week that the federal government was adding to Michigander's unemployment checks will be coming to an end on September 4th.  The most recent Michigan data available informs us that Michigan averaged 450,000 federal unemployment claims per week for the month of July.  Of those approximately 450,000 claims approximately 100,000 were also collecting state unemployment checks.

Will this now help all of those businesses that could not fill their open positions, I would certainly hope so.  The restaurants and bars in Michigan were especially hit hard with some having to close during certain hours because they did not have enough staff to open.

Here is an interesting development.  Biden gave the states the option of extending the $300 dollars a week federal benefit beyond the expiration date of Sept. 4th.  He would allow them to use their American Rescue Plan (ARP) dollars to fund it.  It turns out that fund is the world’s largest slush ever and most of the money has nothing to do with helping those who were directly affected by the government shutdown of businesses.

The state of Michigan received a whopping $6.5 billion from that fund.

Will Michigan use ARP dollars to extend the federal bump benefit?

A spokesperson for Gov. Whitmer said no.  UIA acting director Liza Estlund Olson.

 “We’re moving forward with the closing of the programs”

Now you know all of the numbers.

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