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Michigan layoff notices remain flat for 2018, despite GM announcement

Kaye LaFond
Michigan Radio
Number of layoffs in Michigan as reported in the state's WARN notices

About 7,000 Michigan workers went through a layoff in 2018, according to data from the state. That number was about the same as in 2017.

The list doesn’t include everyone who lost a job for the year. And, overall, the state gained more jobs than it lost in 2018.

Brian Marcotte is with the state’s workforce development agency. He says the list of layoffs helps keep track of sites where multiple people were let go.

"We use that information and we try to go on site and offer services to the affected workers," Marcotte says. "And we try to get them registered for unemployment insurance and stuff like that."

The layoff notifications sent to the state are a requirement of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Companies send a so-called WARN notice to the state before the layoffs occur. 

The largest layoff event in 2018 was at GM’s Hamtramck Assembly plant. The next largest was at MB Financial Bank, which closed an office in Ann Arbor.

The number of layoff events in Michigan spiked from 2007 to 2009, in the lead up to the Great Recession. Since then, layoffs have remained comparatively low. In 2018, the total number of layoffs was about a third of what it was during the peak.  

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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