There are currently four states that have decided to stop accepting federal unemployment benefits because many if not most of their employers are struggling to find people to fill their open positions.  Those states are Iowa, Montana, North Dakota and South Carolina.

Is it time for the state of Michigan to join them?

A Michigan business group believes it is.  That group is the Michigan chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).  MLive reported that the Michigan director of the NFIB, Charles Owens said:

“There are just too many jobs and too many people who are not incentivized to take them”

The fact that there are too many jobs and due to the per week federal bump of $300 people appear to not be incentivized to take those jobs. That is exactly why the four above-mentioned states have decided to decline the extra $300 a week federal cash.  

The NFIB surveyed 10,000 business owners nationwide and discovered that “44% of small business owners report having job openings they can’t fill”.  The question now is how many small business owners in Michigan are having trouble filling their open positions.

Currently the most Michigan will pay an unemployed person is $362 a week.  When you add the extra $300 a week from the Federal government you are collecting $662 per week.  That is equal to $16.55 per hour, for a 40 hour week, to not work.  That extra $300 a week will last until September of this year.  Can anyone really argue that is not a huge incentive not to work?

Like the four states that will be no longer accepting the $300 federal bump each week, groups in Michigan are looking to use some of those funds to incentivize people to go back to work.

Michigan’s Legislature has a proposal that would give 400,000 of the 860,000 unemployed Michiganders $1,000 to literally get a job or go back to their previous job.  I guess it would be first come first served.  

Another plan is being pushed by the Detroit Regional Chamber.  Their plan would use $400 million in one-time American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to be used for the following:

  • $2,000 return-to-work grant per returning or new employee: One-time grant, receivable upon 60 days of employment.  (ARP funds: $200 million)
  • $1,000 training grant to employers per returning or new employee: For employer use to provide training or an additional signing bonus, contingent upon eligible employee(s) remaining on the job for 60 days.  (ARP funds: $100 million)
  • $100 vaccine incentive for employers: Support employers covering costs associated with vaccine incentivization or compensating paid time off for employees getting vaccinated.  Capping the program at $100 million could encourage one million Michiganders to get vaccinated.  (ARP funds: $100 million)

All of these ideas sound great and would probably help Michigan employers but I can guarantee you that Governor Whitmer will not sign off on that bill or plan.

The federal taxpayer's money will keep flowing as long as Whitmer can spend it.  Remember Whitmer has not given an extra penny out of her budget to any unemployed Michigan residents.

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