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LEO | New UIA Economic Dashboard Will Guide Solutions Focused on Workers, Employers

Michigan Business Network
May 22, 2024 11:00 AM

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Granular data can be key resource to formulating policy decisions

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) today launched a new Economic Dashboard, a transformative tool designed to guide policy decisions that will improve service to Michigan’s workers and employers.

This comprehensive platform not only reveals underlying trends in unemployment insurance in Michigan, but also serves as a crucial resource for understanding the impacts of unemployment across different industries, occupations, and communities. By providing insights on which sectors are experiencing layoffs, claimant demographics, and the regions most affected, the dashboard empowers policymakers and the public with the information needed to tailor and implement solutions focused on the needs of Michiganders.

The Economic Dashboard can be found at Michigan.gov/UIAEconomicDashboard. For optimal viewing, users can click on the double-arrow icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the dashboard to open it in full-screen mode.

"This dashboard provides granular insight into Michigan’s economy at a time of sustained low unemployment statewide,” UIA Director Julia Dale said. “The Michigan UIA has emerged from the pandemic better equipped to serve the workers and businesses of Michigan. Our modernization efforts are gaining momentum, and we are transforming the UIA into a national model for fast, fair and fraud-free service.”

Among those reforms are the Claimant Roadmap, the Employer Help Center, and the launch in 2025 of a new computer system to be used by claimants to file for benefits and employers to pay unemployment taxes.

The new Economic Dashboard provides greater insights in 11 topical categories:

  • Trends in Claim Filing, UI Trust Fund, Employers and Taxes, and Claimant Demographics.
  • Claims by Occupation and Industry.
  • County-by-county data on the number of claims, and exhaustion and recipiency rates.
  • Key Metrics and a Glossary of Terms.

Each page of the Economic Dashboard provides sorting and filtering capabilities to allow users to access more detailed data for their area of interest.

Information will be updated regularly with data pulled from UIA’s computer system and provided to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (U.S. DOL/ETA) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (U.S. BLS).

New helpful resources for workers, employers

The revamped Economic Dashboard is one of the many innovative resources UIA has recently launched that will ease workers’ and employers’ unemployment experience:

  • Claimant Roadmap. An easy-to-follow, user-friendly six-step guide to applying for and understanding unemployment benefits. The roadmap can be accessed at Michigan.gov/UIAClaimantRoadmap.
  • First-time filer coaching sessions. These online group trainings guide claimants through the steps needed to complete an application and qualify for payments.
  • UIA Community Connect program. UIA staff are embedded in 10 regions across Michigan to provide hands-on expertise to workers about how to navigate the unemployment insurance application process. Liaisons also connect workers and employers to UIA’s outreach and education resources.
  • UIA Modernization Workgroup. This coalition of labor, business, and jobless advocates, to advise the UIA on significant improvements in how it can better serve Michigan workers and employers, including anti-fraud practices.
  • Employer Help Center. This plain language guide answers employers’ questions on unemployment tax and claim issues and UIA programs. The innovative Help Center can be found at Michigan.gov/UIAEmployerHelpCenter.
  • New computer system. Expected to be fully operational in 2025, the new system will include robust anti-fraud processes, speed claim filing, provide a user-friendly interface, and ease report filing for employers.
  • Longer appointment window. Claimants can now book in-person appointments up to 14 days in advance to meet with a UIA agent at any of the agency’s 12 Local Offices.

Transforming the UIA

Since being named in October 2021 by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to lead the UIA, Director Dale – the agency's 11th director in as many years – has launched a sweeping transformation of the agency to benefit workers and employers, including:

  • Renovating five UIA Local Offices to create an improved user experience and make security upgrades. The offices undergoing construction are in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Saginaw, and Sterling Heights.
  • Adding legal help to the Advocacy Program. Six new advocates have been added to the program, which provides free legal advice to workers and employers who appeal UIA redeterminations.
  • Naming a Legal Advisor and creating a Legal and Compliance Bureau to leverage collaborative anti-fraud practices in the pursuit of bad actors who steal taxpayer money. 
  • Extending through 2024 nearly 80 limited term employees in the Fraud and Investigations Division.
  • Requiring new ethics and security clearance policies for employees and contractors.
  • Partnering with the Michigan Department of Attorney General, and local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to stop fraud. Since March 2020, 162 criminals have been charged with unemployment fraud, 91 have been convicted, and 72 sentenced to prison and ordered to pay restitution.
  • Revamping the agency’s public website at Michigan.gov/UIA to be more user-friendly and responsive for those accessing services using cell phones or tablets.
  • Scoring 100 percent for the third year in a row from the USDOL, meeting the reasonable assurance of quality benchmark for employer audits in 2022, 2021, and 2020.
  • Reassigning staff and resources to address the largest categories of claims contributing to the agency’s case backlogs.
  • Rebuilding the UI Trust Fund to more than $2.7 billion (and growing). Weekly benefits are paid to workers from the Trust Fund, which is supported by taxes on employers.
  • Halting overpayment collections on claims filed since March 1, 2020, while the agency addresses pending protests and appeals.

Need help with a claim or have questions?

Speak with an agent: Schedule an in-person, phone, or virtual appointment at Michigan.gov/UIA.
Call Customer Service: 1-866-500-0017 during regular business hours.
Chat with Ava: Our chatbot can answer many questions at Michigan.gov/UIA.

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