Michigan estimates losing $8.5 billion to unemployment fraud since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the CEO of a fraud prevention company says that number is closer to $11 billion.
Haywood Talcove, the CEO of LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ Government Group, which provides fraud prevention tools to 26 state unemployment programs and the 50 top US banks, told The Center Square in a Zoom interview that profiles on the encrypted messaging app Telegram are fraudulently selling Michigan unemployment benefits.
Michigan’s new unemployment claims dropped last week by 5,855 from the week ending Dec. 5, according to Department of Labor statistics released Thursday morning.
Unemployment claims in the state continue to drop despite the ongoing prohibitions of indoor gatherings imposed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
New unemployment claims in Michigan dropped last week by 5,380 from the prior week ending Aug. 1.
For the week ending Aug. 8, 14,462 new unemployment claims were registered, compared to 19,842 new claims the week ending Aug. 1.
Michigan was in the top 5 U.S. states reporting the largest decreases in initial unemployment claims for the week ending July 11.
The state reported a 6,882 week-over-week decline in new claims for that week. New claims in Michigan dropped by another 5,884 claims the week ending July 18.
Michigan unemployment climbed by 24,000 new claims last week, bringing the state’s total number of unemployment claims to 555,162.
However, the week-over-week tally fell by 9,705 new claims from 34,602 new claims in the week ending July 4 to 24,897 new claims in the week ending July 11, according to U.S. Department of Labor data. Those numbers are still above unemployment levels recorded at the height of the Great Recession of 2009.
New unemployment claims dropped slightly in Michigan last week, a trend also reflected in national numbers reported by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
The week-over-week numbers reported for Michigan the week ending July 4 show 34,470 DOL new initial claims, a decrease of 3,839 initial unemployment claims from the previous week’s 38,309 new claims.
Although the U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in the month of June, the number of unemployed workers in Michigan continues to rise.
Michigan ranks seventh in the nation for total number of unemployment claims.
More than 28,500 Michigan workers joined the ranks of the unemployed in the week ending June 6, bringing the total number of state residents filing unemployment claims to 870,772 since restrictions were put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Michigan unemployment claims are among the highest in the nation.