17K new jobless aid claims filed; August rate unchanged from July

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

More than 17,000 people filed unemployment claims in Michigan last week, marking the seventh straight week in which the number of new jobless aid claims has been reported at or below 20,000. 

For the week ending Saturday, a total of 17,392 new claims were filed.

The new unemployment claims report comes as the state announced Wednesday that Michigan's unemployment rate in August remained unchanged from July's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 8.7%.

Michigan's August unemployment rate, reported Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, is slightly higher than the national rate of 8.4% in August. 

Michigan employment increased by 93,000 during the month of August while the number of unemployed increased by 7,000, according to the state. 

The state's leisure and hospitality industry had the largest percent gain over the month, with employment advancing by 3.4%. 

“Recalls of laid-off workers continued in Michigan in August, but at a slower pace than in the last few months,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “Total payroll jobs rose by 55,000 in August, well below the average advance of 180,000 per month from May through July.”

Nationally, the number of new unemployment claims filed last week came in at about 1.4 million, down from the 1.7 million filed the week prior. About 

Unemployment claims across the state have been decreasing with some consistency over the summer. Weekly claims tallies from August through mid-September fell at or below 20,000. 

The weekly totals are still well above the weekly average of 5,000 new claims received prior to the pandemic, but far below the hundreds of thousands of weekly claims filed at the height of the pandemic in April and May. 

Roughly 2.6 million people applied for unemployment from the start of the pandemic March 15 through early September, the equivalent of the total number of unemployment claims received between May 2014 and March 2020. 

In the six months between March 15 and Sept. 2, the state had paid out $21.9 billion to more than 2.1 million workers and was striving to satisfy the other claims.