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69K file for Michigan unemployment; pandemic total now 1.3M

Unemployment benefits form
Wikimedia Commons

Nearly 69,000 people filed initial claims for unemployment last week, bringing Michigan's seven-week total in the coronavirus pandemic to more than 1.3 million. The number of new claims dropped for the fourth straight week but still approached the weekly high recorded in the Great Depression, according to federal data released Thursday. The state Unemployment Insurance Agency has said more than 1.1 million jobless have been paid benefits. To expedite claims for people waiting in a queue for help, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an order letting the agency review only an individual's most recent job separation to determine the benefit level.