LANSING, Mich., June 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of the Michigan House passing legislation last week to end the extra $300 in federal unemployment benefits and get Michiganders back to work, the Michigan Senate passed legislation today to do the same. The Michigan Chamber is encouraged by the Legislature's thoughtful action on this important issue and is urging the Governor to put politics aside and sign the bill to protect Michigan's economy.
"New federal data released in early June illustrates the increasingly urgent need to address the ever-worsening workforce crisis and break down the barriers to employability," said Wendy Block, Vice President of Business Advocacy and Member Engagement for the Michigan Chamber. "While we are proactively working to find bi-partisan solutions to many of the long-term barriers to employability, like accessible childcare, affordable housing, and closing the skills gap, it is obvious that expanded federal UI benefits, which equate to a pay rate of $16.55 an hour, have created a strong disincentive for UI recipients to return to work. It is simply unsustainable and damaging to our economy to pay individuals the equivalent of $34,000 a year not to work.
"Currently, open positions outnumber job seekers," continued Block. "We are facing a workforce crisis, as there are more than 231,000 people drawing unemployment insurance benefits in Michigan today and over 378,926 jobs posted across the state.
"Along with reinstating mandatory work search and registration requirements, terminating the extra federal UI payments , especially now that vaccines are widely available and most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, will make a difference and get people to come off unemployment and back into the workforce," said Block. "We applaud the Legislature for joining 26 other states and passing legislation to bring these extra payments to an end on July 30.
"It's now up to the Governor to listen to the pleas from the job providers across the state for help and sign this bill," concluded Block.
The Michigan Chamber is a statewide business organization that represents approximately 5,000 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce. The Chamber represents businesses of every size and type in all 83 counties of the state. It was established in 1959 to be an advocate for Michigan job providers in the legislative, political and legal process. www.michamber.com
SOURCE Michigan Chamber of Commerce