DATA: How coronavirus spiked unemployment filings in Michigan, US

States saw historic spikes in unemployment filings the week of March 21

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DETROIT – Applications for temporary unemployment assistance in Michigan increased during the week ending on March 21 as the U.S. economy bears the weight of growing fears around the COVID-19 virus, according to a release Thursday from the U.S. Employment and Training Administration.

The number of applications submitted in Michigan during the week ending on March 21 rose to 129,298, an increase of 2,322.2% from the number of applications submitted the previous week and an increase of 2,545.8% from the number of applications submitted the same week last year.

The number of claims filed represents 3% of the total workforce of Michigan that is eligible for the unemployment insurance program.

Michigan contributed to a national increase in the seasonally-adjusted number of claims of 1,052.9% over the previous week.

The surge in filings forced the state to adust how people apply for benefits. You can file for benefits online here.

WDIV’s Hank Winchester covered the increase in unemployment filings this week.

Here’s another graph showing the historic spike in Michigan’s unemployment filings for the week ending March 21:

About This Data

Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a joint federal-state program that gives cash benefits to eligible unemployed workers. The Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration aggregates claims from every state and distributes a weekly report at

The key metric in this data is "initial claims" -- the count of new claims in the UI system -- representing newly unemployed people in a given week of data.

For more info on UI eligibility:

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