Michigan reported more than 81,000 new unemployment claims last week, continuing the downward trend of new filings since the peak in early April.
State officials say $2.73 billion have been paid out in unemployment benefits since March 15, up from $1.37 billion a week ago.
Michigan started the coronavirus pandemic with one of the strongest unemployment funds in the country at $4.6 billion, although researchers say federal assistance will be needed in the coming months to continue paying out benefits.
Michigan saw its peak for unemployment filings during the week ending April 4, when 388,554 workers filed claims. Michigan’s total claims filed between March 15 and April 25 now exceed 1.2 million.
Unemployment claims nationally have passed 30 million, with 3.8 million filed in the last week, according to U.S. Labor Department data. The New York Times reported today that many state agencies have been overwhelmed with demand, while some researchers say job losses may be under-reported as workers’ efforts to file claims are unsuccessful.