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Unemployment claims in Michigan have increased 1,500 percent following the widespread closure of food and entertainment businesses to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Since Monday, 55,000 claims have been filed, most of which came on Monday, according to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. The department said earlier this week that claims had grown by 550 percent.
The rate of increase is based on the normal amount of activity for this time of year, according to LEO spokesperson Erica Quealy.
The state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency said earlier this week that about 5,400 claims were filed on Monday, up from 1,300 to 1,600 on a typical Monday — an increase of 238 percent to 315 percent.
Michigan’s increase in unemployment claims comes after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered theaters, casinos, restaurants and bars to close on Monday afternoon to avoid further spread of coronavirus. Businesses are allowed to remain open for take-out or delivery. Whitmer also signed an executive order that expanded eligibility for unemployment benefits.
The U.S. Department of Labor released its latest unemployment claims report on Thursday morning, showing 281,000 new claims last week, an increase of 70,000 from the previous week. However, the latest figures likely haven’t captured the large spike taking place this week.