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Michigan's new unemployment claims drop as nearly 17,000 file

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Nearly 17,000 people filed for unemployment in Michigan last week, a new claims total that has stayed at or below roughly 20,000 since late July.

The 16,993 people who filed during the week ending Aug. 22 dropped from the 20,188 claims filed the week prior, according to Associated Press data culled from the U.S. Department of Labor. 

The new claims were filed as the state of Michigan received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide an additional $300 in additional federal assistance per week for unemployed people. 

Michigan's jobless rate fell by two-tenths of a percentage point in September to 8.5%, mainly because some stopped looking for work.

The state estimates the additional money will benefit about 910,000 eligible residents. 

The state's weekly new unemployment claims have decreased significantly from the peak of the pandemic when mass business closures resulted in hundreds of thousands of new weekly unemployment claims.

July's seasonally adjust unemployment rate was 8.7%, or 6.2 percentage points below June's rate, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. 

Staff writer Craig Mauger contributed