Governor Rick Snyder has plans to reform Michigan’s unemployment insurance system. According to the Governor, the reformation will reflect the administration’s plan to reinvigorate the state economy. Snyder has proposed a plan to the state Legislature he calls “work sharing.” Essentially, the plan would prevent employers from making layoffs by having them cut the hours given to their non-essential workforce. The Legislature is mulling over another plan to extend aid to those that have lost their jobs in an attempt to help them start their own businesses.
Work sharing programs are already present in 22 other states. These programs have helped these states save money on unemployment insurance by cutting down the number of unemployed people in the state. While these plans have seen modest success, Republican legislators in Michigan have shown opposition to the concept, but the Legislature is expected to pass a measure that would enact the plan next year.
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Snyder claims that today’s workforce is both highly skilled and mobile. This mobility means that workers can travel elsewhere to find jobs if they lose the ones they have in Michigan. Snyder wants to keep these high-skill people in the state as he believes they can help stimulate the economy.
Michigan’s insurance companies have, thus far, remained quiet on the issue. Small businesses, while not wanting of layoffs, have expressed some discontentment over the matter, saying that, at times, layoffs are necessary to stay in business. Some small businesses will have to make a choice between employees and health care benefits, should the Governor’s plan be enacted.