New Michigan unemployment claims lowest since pandemic hit

Christine MacDonald
The Detroit News

Michigan's unemployment filings statewide last week were the lowest since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from the Associated Press.

The state reported the filing of 14,462 new claims during the week ending Aug. 8. That's down from a high of 388,554 claims during the first week of April. 

But it's still a nearly 240% increase from the same week last year, when less than 4,300 claims were filed. 

Nationally, the number of laid-off workers applying for unemployment aid fell below 1 million last week for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdowns began, but the number remains at a historically high level. 

The number of weekly applications declined to 963,000, the second straight drop, from 1.2 million the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. The decline signaled that layoffs are slowing, though the latest figure still far exceeds the pre-pandemic weekly record of just under 700,000.

Between March 15 and July 24, the state of Michigan paid $19 billion to close to 2 million claimants, according to the Unemployment Insurance Agency.

Michigan's unemployment rate in June was 14.8%, a 6.5 percentage-point decrease from May’s 21.3% unemployment rate.

The Associated Press contributed