LANSING, Mich. – Frustrated business owners who are offering bonuses and upgraded wages testified in front of the Michigan House Oversight Committee that they can’t get workers because of expanded state and federal unemployment benefits.
During the height of the pandemic, Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency waived the requirement that people receiving benefits had to show they were actively searching for work.
With a COVID vaccine readily available and “help wanted” signs in many storefronts, the UIA told the Oversight Committee that a reinstatement of that requirement is in the works.
“We are actively working to reinstate work search,” UIA’s Stephanie Glidden said.
The agency anticipates having that requirement back in place by the end of May.
State Rep. Mark Tisdel (R-Rochester Hills) did a tour of multiple Rochester businesses and they all echoed the problems finding workers.
“Times have changed. Circumstances have changed and we’ve got to get people back to work,” Tisdel said.
To that end, the House is also considering offering a $1,000 bonus paid for out of COVID-19 federal relief funds to those on unemployment who find a job.
The unemployment situation has dramatically changed since last year. In June of 2020 Michigan’s unemployment rate was 14.8%, it’s at 5.1% now.