Michigan Cuts Unemployment Benefits Receiving Period

Among the U.S. states, Michigan has become the first state to decrease the time during which unemployed persons can receive unemployment benefits, reducing the period from 25 to 20 weeks starting from January 2012.  This particular bill is due to be successfully signed into Michigan’s law by the Governor after passing it in the Michigan House and later in Senate through wide margins. This bill will enable receiving state unemployment benefits within the 20-week maximum period which is the lowest in the country. It is to be noted that Michigan is one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States.

In February 2011, Michigan’s official unemployment rate remained at nearly 10.5 % which was over the national average of 8.5%. It is to be noted that the state has remained in the double-digit unemployment from more than the last two years. On an average, an unemployed person takes nine month to find new employment. An unemployed person in Michigan gets the maximum unemployment benefit of a meager $350 per week.

The National Employment Law Project had attempted to influence the technical fixing that is needed to carry out federal unemployment benefits. The said project also recommended reducing the future state benefits included in the bill’s final version. The leading economist thinks that the certain extend of alter to unemployment insurance by the present administration is broader attack on the low-income wage earners, public employees and retirees. In this occasion, it is to be noted that Michigan workers are already facing economic hardship and high levels of unemployment.

The bill has raised a lot of expectation among the economist, unemployed persons and present working communities. It is assumed that this bill reduces the hardship faced by the unemployed person and his or her family to a great extends and the benefits will reach him or her soon within the new expected period of claim sanction. It is also been observed that the state’s budget deficit will not get effected by this bill because unemployment benefits are actually self-funded by a tax on employers. The bill was hailed by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce too. The present opposition in the Michigan’s administration had certain criticism on the bill. But hopes are very strong that the bill will get passed successfully in the Michigan House and Senate. 

In this juncture, it is to be noted that the Florida House has successfully passed recently a legislation decreasing the unemployment benefits receiving maximum period from 25 weeks to nearly 13 weeks in case the unemployment rate comes down to about 6 %. The present unemployment rates of Florida stands at 11%. On the other hand, nearly $250 a week is the Florida’s maximum unemployment benefit. A familiar development is happening in Arkansas and Indiana too in the matter of reducing the maximum period for receiving the unemployment benefits.

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