Crain’s Detroit Business reported late last week that an estimated 24 percent of Michigan’s labor force had filed for unemployment since mid-May.
The five-week total of recorded unemployment records now stands at 1.18 million new unemployment claims since March 15. That is simply unheard of. Year-over-year, the second week in April saw more than 134,000 initial claims. During a similar time period in 2019, just 4,842 unemployment claims were made. The unemployment rate in Michigan now stands at 17.4 percent, but the real statistic is likely much higher.
For context, this means all job gains since the Great Recession have disappeared in just five weeks. The new numbers national numbers from last reported by the Labor Department also exclude those who do not qualify for unemployment benefits, like gig workers and many contractors. While the CARES Act includes an extension of unemployment coverage, called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), to gig workers and independent contractors, it is still being set up.
Furthermore, last week the “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act” (Act) were signed into law that increases funding for paycheck protection program loans (PPP Loans), economic injury disaster loans (EIDLs) and EIDL emergency grants under the CARES Act. It will also provide $75 billion in funding for hospitals and other eligible health care providers and $25 billion for COVID-19 testing.
Following is a summary of the amendments to the PPP Loan, EIDL and EIDL emergency grant features of the CARES Act:
So what does this mean? There’s little question that any recovery will hinge on the ability to not only increase testing and tracing in the U.S. but work toward a vaccine that is commercially available to consumers. Until then both consumers and business owners need to take advantage of every opportunity to get funding to support a closed business or a lost job. While the team here at Bashore Green is known for our personal injury legal expertise, if you do have questions on what you can do as a business owner or a consumer to get what you are owed, we are happy to be a resource.
Please contact us anytime. We’re continuing to work remotely for you. And we know if you, or a friend or a family member ever have a significant injury in the future, whether from an auto accident or some other injury, we will be here for you.