State’s Jobless Claims Receding Alongside Virus in Recent WeeksJanuary 28, 2021
Michigan’s weekly new jobless claims continue to fall as new infections of the deadly coronavirus continue to subside across the state.
Last week, 16,679 in the state filed new unemployment claims, down from the revised up 21,830 for the week prior. However, last week’s figure remains at historic highs from before the COVID-19 outbreak last March.
Despite nearly 44,000 coming off the state’s unemployment benefits program for the week ending Jan. 23, long-term unemployment remains a problem. Nearly 38,000 in the state joined the federal Extended Benefits program, which covers unemployment benefits between 40 and 59 weeks of joblessness, for the week ending Jan. 9 from the week prior, signaling those unemployed during the early days of the pandemic remain without job prospects.
The seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 infections fell to 1,727 on Jan. 27, down from the peak of 7,210 on Nov. 21 last year and down from the 2021 peak of 4,033 on Jan. 8. Statewide hospitalizations fell to 1,402 on Jan. 27, down to levels last seen in late October.
However, the University of Michigan paused sports operations, and students living on or near the Ann Arbor campus are being advised to “stay in place” after several positive tests for the new COVID-19 variant that transmits at a higher rate.
The new variant, called the U.K. variant, reportedly spreads at a rate 70% higher than the typical COVID-19 virus and health officials worry a new spike in infections could occur throughout the state in the coming weeks.
Nationally, 847,000 Americans reported new jobless claims last week, a decrease of 67,000 from the previous week’s revised level. More than 18 million in the U.S. were on some form of unemployment benefits as of Jan. 9, according to Department of Labor data.