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Claims for jobless benefits continue to decrease in state

A dollop of mostly positive economic news was released in recent days with word that the number of unemployment claims in the state of Michigan has dropped for the most recent reporting period.

As reported by The Detroit Free Press, new claims dipped to 21,949 in the week ending July 25, down from 24,596 the previous week, the U.S. Department of Labor reported.

Nationally, new unemployment claims increased to 1.43 million that week, up from 1.42 million the week prior, a troubling sign for the country’s economic recovery, the Free Press noted.

For those readers who think more than 20,000 new claimants a week is a lot, if these were typical times, you’d be correct. For the same period one year ago, about 5,000 new claims filed.

But consider what the number was back in April, when the state processed an ocean of jobless benefit requests.

In early April, about 400,000 Michigan residents filed, so the improvement is easy to see.

That’s not to say everything is going in the right direction. It certainly is not. With COVID-19 cases inching back up, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has imposed new restrictions on some parts of the state, including the Upper Peninsula.

But Michigan is better positioned than many states going forward.

In the meantime, let’s all just put our masks on and properly social distance.

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