The coronavirus pandemic and forced business closures have hit Michigan workers and the state's unemployment insurance system harder than almost every place in the nation.

Roughly 8 percent of all Michigan residents and 17 percent of Michigan's workforce filed claims over a three week span.

According to the Lansing State Journal, Michigan almost certainly will have to ask the federal government for help paying unemployment benefits to Michigan residents who are out of work during the coronavirus pandemic.

The state started 2020 with more than $4.6 billion in its unemployment trust fund, the account that pays weekly benefits to people and is funded through payroll taxes levied on employers.

The unprecedented number of unemployment claims filed since the first Michigan cases of COVID-19 were identified in mid March will drain the trust fund in a very short time.

There's not much that anyone can say or do to help millions of people struggling these days and trying to make ends meet.

State economists estimate the trust has enough money to last about 14 weeks. Here's more from the Lansing State Journal.

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