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Unemployment applications dramatically increased last week

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Applications for unemployment in Michigan took another huge jump last week. 384,844 people filed first-time claims. The U.S. Department of Labor’s newly released report revised numbers for the previous week, indicating more than 304,000 Michiganders filed for unemployment during that period.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak appeared in Michigan, more than 800,000 people have filed for unemployment. Most of those are out-of-work because of ‘stay at home’ orders issued by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has been swamped with calls. The agency has doubled the number of people taking calls for applications. It’s urging people to file for unemployment online

Even then, applicants are asked to file on certain days. If your last name starts with A through L, you’re asked to file online on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. If your last name starts with M through Z, file on Tuesday, or Thursday. The agency also suggests trying to file between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. when the volume is much lower.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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