69K file for Michigan unemployment; pandemic total now 1.3M

Michigan News
Unemployment COVID-19

A pedestrian walks by The Framing Gallery, closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Grosse Pointe, Mich., Thursday, May 7, 2020. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday that auto and other manufacturing workers can return to the job next week, further easing her stay-at-home order while extending it through May 28 because of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Nearly 69,000 people filed initial claims for unemployment last week, bringing Michigan’s seven-week total in the coronavirus pandemic to more than 1.3 million.

The number of new claims dropped for the fourth straight week but still approached the weekly high recorded in the Great Depression, according to federal data released Thursday.

The state Unemployment Insurance Agency has said more than 1.1 million jobless have been paid benefits.

To expedite claims for people waiting in a queue for help, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an order letting the agency review only an individual’s most recent job separation to determine the benefit level.

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