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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [06/18/2009]
Contact Name: Jennifer Kaplan
Phone Number: (202) 693-3984 or x5052
Release Number: 09-0697-CHI

U.S. Labor Department announces release of $69.4 million in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to Michigan

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor has certified for release $69,427,524 in unemployment insurance (UI) modernization incentive funds to the state of Michigan. Michigan qualified for the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) by allowing workers to use their more recent earnings to qualify for benefits.

"Providing an economic safety net to workers who have entered the workforce recently and lost their jobs through no fault of their own is very important, especially in states like Michigan that have been hit particularly hard by the recession," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "It is the right thing to do for workers and it's good for the state's economic recovery."

The state can use the funds to pay unemployment benefits or, if appropriated by the legislature, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services. The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth intends to use the funds to support increased unemployment service capacity and technology improvements in the state's unemployment insurance agency.

"These Recovery funds will help us streamline and speed up the process of getting much-needed benefits into the hands of the Michigan citizens who deserve them," said Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm. "Unemployed workers are counting on their benefits to put food on the table and help pay the rent, so time is always of the essence."

The Recovery Act made a total of $7 billion available in UI modernization incentive payments to states that include certain eligibility provisions in their UI programs. Each state can qualify for a share of those funds by showing that its law includes those provisions. Michigan's approved application will be posted at the department's Employment and Training Administration Web site at http://www.doleta.gov/recovery/. Other approved applications can also be found on this site.