November 17, 2021

Extra unemployment aid has helped keep Michigan’s economy humming

Patrick Cooney and H. Luke Shaefer

Last week, the Michigan State House of Representatives voted to prematurely end the $300 supplement that Michigan unemployment insurance (UI) claimants receive each week from the federal government. Doing so would be bad for out of work Michiganders and their families who depend on the aid. Less understood is the fact that it could also be bad for landlords, banks, grocery stores and a myriad of Michigan businesses, and set back the state’s economic recovery.

Throughout the pandemic, expanded unemployment benefits have, quite literally, kept Michigan’s economy afloat. Data from Harvard’s Opportunity Insights show that by end of March 2020, consumer spending in Michigan had fallen 36% compared with pre-pandemic levels. However, by June 1, following the implementation of expanded unemployment benefits, consumer spending had already returned to…

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