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Analysis: “Economic Stimulus” Misses Michigan Targets

January 25, 2008

Lansing, MI – Tax rebates are getting a big welcome in Michigan under the "economic stimulus" plan being crafted by Congress, but the state with the highest unemployment rate in the nation will need a little bit more to help shore up the economy, according to a new analysis. Sharon Parks with the Michigan League for Human Services says they hope the plan will also include extending unemployment insurance, since she says the state's job market looks grim this year.

"We don't have a lot of jobs right now. So, these families really have significant needs, and that income coming in for a longer period of time could clearly help."

Another piece of the economic package that Parks says would especially benefit Michigan has also fallen off the table for now – more money for food safety nets.

"Our food assistance caseloads have more than doubled since 2000, and we had a record number of households receiving help from the Food Stamp program in December."

A proposed unemployment insurance extension was reportedly dropped to expand tax rebate payments to lower-income households. Parks' analysis shows extending unemployment would also help the overall state economy. Michigan's unemployment rate was 7.6 percent last month.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - MI