Workforce Development Archives

Fact Sheet: The Michigan EITC and Taxes Paid by Working Families February 2011

Benefit of the Michigan EITC for various income levels (2010 income-table) January 2011

Money Back in Michigan (2010 Tax Year)  January 2011

Letter to lawmakers in support of the EITC November 2010

Labor Day report Long-term Unemployment is at a Crisis Level September 2010

Letter to Congress urging fair tax policy June 2010

Good Ideas Are Not Enough: Michigan’s Adult Learning System Needs More State Funding May 2010

Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit Year One September 2009

Fact Sheet: Michigan’s EITC Updated August 2009

Labor Day Report Racial Wage Gap Grows in the Workplace September 2009

Michigan Needs to Modernize Its Unemployment Insurance System Updated July 2009

Labor Day Report Economic Challenges Underscore Needs of Low-Income Workers September 2008

Importance of Postsecondary Education Increases While Financial Aid Eludes Many May 2008 Executive Summary

Labor Day Report Many Workers Lag Behind in New Economy September 2007

Fixing the Leaky Pipeline: Why Adult Education and Skills Training Matters July 2007 Executive Summary

Michigan Child Care Assistance Policies: 2006 June 2007

Facts about Michigan’s Minimum Wage March 2006

Unemployment Benefits at Risk Gov. Rick Snyder should veto the plan passed by the Michigan Legislature to extend unemployment for 20 additional weeks at the expense of families who may need the benefits in the future.

The Legislature should make a simple technical fix to the state’s unemployment law to allow workers to collect the final 20 weeks of unemployment as approved by Congress in December. Without that, 35,000 unemployed workers will stop receiving benefits on April 2. An additional 150,000 workers could also lose 20 weeks of benefits later in the year. See the League’s Fact Sheet for more information. Also see updated Fact Sheet

The Legislature has passed a technical fix along with shortening regular unemployment benefits from 26 to 20 weeks. That would make Michigan the first state to shorten the normal period of unemployment to less than 26 weeks, according to the National Employment Law Project.

Click here to tell Gov. Snyder to veto the bill. The Legislature should not take a two-week break without making sure the unemployment benefits earned by Michigan workers stay intact. March 23, 2011


Helping the 99-weekers in Michigan The 99ers are jobless workers who have exhausted the full 99 weeks of unemployment available. In Michigan from January through November of 2010, 162,000 jobless workers reached the limit of benefits.

This includes 26 weeks of basic unemploy­ment, 53 weeks of emergency benefits and 20 weeks of extended benefits. On Dec. 17, President Obama signed legislation to continue the emergency and extended benefits through 2011, but that will not help those who have exhausted the 99 weeks. Dec 2010

Read the fact sheet: Helping the 99-weekers in Michigan


Jobless Benefits Set to Shrink to 26 Weeks Congress nees to continue for a full year the temporary unemployement insurance program that is currently scheduled to expire on Nov. 30. The Fact sheet has county-by-county numbers. Nov 2010


By November 30, More Than 142,000 Unemployed Workers Will Lose Their Benefits Unemployment Insurance (UI) has helped many of Michigan’s laid-off workers support their families as they look for work.

However, due to a combination of reasons, 142,733 long-term unemployed Michigan workers will lose their benefits before November 30 of this year, and 324,264 are on track to lose their benefits by April 2011.  Read the report.

Press release: Unemployment benefits running out for many families

Gov. Granholm’s letter to Congress on unemployment benefits

Sign the unemployedworkers.org’s petition to Congress


Understanding Michigan’s Extended Unemployment Insurance Benefits Fact sheet on new 20-week extension in unemployment benefits. November 2009 Read more


Unemployment Insurance Brief Michigan’s 12.6 percent unemployment rate leads the nation. The Detroit metropolitan area has an unemployment rate of 14 percent. Read more

  • Read MLHS testimony to the House Labor Committee here

Out of Date and Out of Reach (March 2002) 11 pp.
 This report, written in cooperation with the National Employment Law Project, makes the case that Michigan’s unemployment insurance (UI) system is no longer doing the job it was designed to do. It is out of date, unable to respond to the needs of Michigan’s unemployed working families. In today’s economy there are more low and moderate wage service and retail jobs, and more part-time and temporary jobs.

Unemployment Insurance Summary, March 2002


Fact Sheet: Recovery Act Tax Credits for Families There are two refundable federal tax credits that were expanded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). These expansions gave families more generous refunds on their Tax Year 2009 taxes than they would have received otherwise. – Aug 10, 2010 Click for fact sheet.


Fact Sheet on the Economic Stimulus Rebate — Feb. 08, 2008 read more>>


Working for a Living in Michigan — Brief One: More Economic Distress for Working Families In 2003 the Michigan League for Human Services published Working for a Living in Michigan: State Workforce Policies and Low-Income Workers, a look at how well Michigan workforce, employment, and economic development policies serve low-income working families. The 2003 report was prepared as part of the Working Poor Families Project, a project designed to assess the feasibility of monitoring the extent to which working poor families are in poverty and the degree to which a state’s workforce and economic development policies directly address the earnings and employment opportunity needs of these families. As part of the ongoing work of the project, the League is updating the 2003 report through a series of briefs. This initial brief will provide background on the findings of the first report and offer an overview of the current extent of economic distress in Michigan. — June 2007 read more>>


Economic Self-Sufficiency in Michigan: A Benchmark for Ensuring Family Well-Being, 4th Ed.–(May 2007)

Researchers and economists are increasingly viewing the federal poverty threshold as an out-of-date tool that does not reflect the true costs incurred by families in today’s economy. Factors such as high child care costs, lack of health care coverage and unreliable transportation prevent many families and individuals from making ends meet on a regular basis. This report addresses the question, “What income does a family need to earn in order to meet all of its basic expenses without relying on government or non-profit assistance?” It also underscores the importance of current supports such as cash assistance, Food Stamps, day care and tax relief when families do not earn enough to make ends meet.


Michigan’s Growing Low-Wage Labor Force There is a persistent misconception that workers employed in most low-wage jobs are primarily teenagers or single adults without children, and that for such workers the job is often transitional or short-term. This argument has been used to oppose increases in the minimum wage and other proposals to help low-wage workers. While it is true that some of the most visible low-wage jobs tend to attract teenagers and college students, in fact a very large number of low-wage workers are adults with families to support. – June 2005 read more>>


For more information on Michigan’s minimum wage, see the League’s analysis of the previous minimum wage proposal, A State Minimum Wage Helps Working Families Without Hurting Jobs. – Nov 05 Click for full report>>

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Rewarding Work and Helping Families: Why a State Earned Income Credit Makes Sense for Michigan Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have established an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to reward the work of low and middle-income families. This analysis outlines the advantages of enacting a Michigan earned income tax credit. It draws on three principles: the need for tax relief for Michigan’s working families, the effectiveness of the federal EITC, and the feasibility of a refundable Michigan EITC. – (Revised July 2005) read more>>


The Superwaiver Proposal Allows States to Bypass Important Federal Regulations in TANF and Workforce Development The TANF reauthorization bill passed by the U.S. House gives the President (or the appropriate Secretary from his or her Administration) the authority to override provisions of federal law pertaining to specific programs benefiting low-income and poor residents. Touted as a way to increase state flexibility and efficiency in administering federally funded programs, there are nonetheless several aspects of the superwaiver that are cause for concern, as the superwaiver has the potential to be an instrument with which to balance state budgets, cull political support, promote controversial ideologies and sidestep necessary federal regulations perceived as burdensome or undesirable. — (revised April 2004) 3 pp. read more>>


Working for a Living in Michigan In Michigan, as in other states, a substantial number of working families live below the federal poverty level, trying to make it on income that is insufficient to meet basic needs for housing, food, clothing, transportation, health care, and child care. Tens of thousands more families struggle along on earnings above the poverty line but far short of enough to provide even a modest standard of living. This report, based on a set of indicators designed as a tool for assessing current and future state efforts to assist working poor families achieve economic self-sufficiency, presents data and findings about working families in poverty, state workforce development and economic security policies, and program outcomes in an indicator format. In 2003 Michigan policy falls short in meeting employment and income growth needs of low-income working families. — May 2003 read more>>


Michigan’s Reed Act Fund Diversions: Implications for Workforce Development Funds In March 2002, Michigan’s UI trust fund received nearly $291.5 million in Reed Act funds. Michigan chose to use this money, with its narrow range of allowable uses, to replace some of the much more flexible Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds that constitute the majority of funding for workforce development one-stop centers. This supplantation of funds in the 2003 budget has had some detrimental effects on human service delivery in Michigan, and may also have a negative effect on the unemployment trust fund whose solvency it was intended to ensure. — (March 2003) 5 pp. read more>>


Resource Guide to Michigan’s Workforce Development Funding Michigan’s workforce development system provides a variety of programs for a wide range of workers, including those who have been laid off due to a recession or employer relocation, those who are in a welfare-to-work program, and those who desire to gain skills that lead to better employment opportunities. This resource guide provides essential information on all federal workforce development funding sources from which Michigan receives money. – (Feb 2003) 27 pp. read more>>