Michigan Small Business Group Objects to Extending Unemployment Insurance

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy association, expressed its concern and disappointment at the passage in the Michigan State House of House Bill 5827, which increases the amount of time an individual can collect unemployment insurance to 26 weeks from 20 weeks.
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Small businesses are objecting to legislation extending unemployment benefits from 20 to 26 weeks, a measure passed by the Michigan House. // Stock photo

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy association, expressed its concern and disappointment at the passage in the Michigan State House of House Bill 5827, which increases the amount of time an individual can collect unemployment insurance to 26 weeks from 20 weeks.

When NFIB asked its members if the time period where an employee is allowed to collect unemployment insurance benefits should be increased, 86 percent answered “No.” NFIB sets its policy position based on a vote of its members.

“When small business owners continue to struggle to find workers and survive a difficult economic climate, this legislation is a slap in the face,” says Amanda Fisher, Michigan state director of the NFIB.

“Currently, there are around 400,000 open positions in Michigan. And according to the NFIB Research Center, small business’ top concern is finding workers who are qualified and willing to work. In fact, in the May survey, 42 percent (seasonally adjusted) of small business owners reported job openings they could not fill.”

Fisher went on to explain that unemployment benefits are 100 percent funded by employers through payroll taxes and were meant to be used only when employees are jobless through no fault of their own.

The money paid by employers are put into a trust fund administered by the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). Employers pay more in taxes when there is not enough money in the UI Trust Fund or if employees are allowed to claim benefits when they should not.

“The egregious and irresponsible mismanagement of employer funds by the UIA during the pandemic has never been appropriately rectified and leaves employers in a precarious situation when it comes to UI taxes if there is an economic downturn,” adds Fisher.

“Instead of passing legislation that could raise taxes on small businesses, the legislative majorities should focus on UIA oversight. Tightening up job search and acceptance requirements, employing adequate fraud protection, and matching jobless workers with positions that fit their background would go a long way to prevent the need for an extension of benefits.”

For 80 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals.

NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member driven. Since its founding in 1943, NFIB is exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses.

For more information, visit nfib.com/.