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(The Center Square) – The economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic includes massive unemployment caused by government-mandated shutdowns of businesses throughout Michigan.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reported 129,298 Michigan employees filed unemployment claims last week. Government figures indicate that number has increased from nearly 5,338 people filing unemployment claims reported March 14, a difference of more than 123,960.

Nationwide, the DOL reported its advance figure for seasonally adjusted unemployment claims of 3,283,000 for the week ending March 21. 

“This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series,” the DOL said, noting the “previous high was 695,000 in October of 1982.”

Michigan residents have been under a stay-at-home order since Monday in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and nonessential business have been forced to close, so claims are expected to continue to rise.

Regional Editor

Bruce Walker is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as editor at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s MichiganScience magazine and The Heartland Institute’s InfoTech & Telecom News.