Detroit Free Press: Matthew Roling on unemployment benefits

After months of uncertainty about unemployment pay and whether the $600 supplemental federal benefit would be extended, Michigan claimants learned last week that they may be eligible to receive an extra $300. The announcement was met with both relief and confusion by unemployment recipients and economists. It is still possible that Congress could revive the original $600 unemployment benefit, or a lesser amount, or appropriate more money to the $300 weekly replacement benefit. Matt Roling, executive director of the Office of Business Innovation at Wayne State University and Mike Ilitch School of Business part-time faculty, is hopeful that it's for the full $600.  "The federal benefit did what it was supposed to do," Roling said. "People could go about (their)  lives while not having to be at work and spread the virus. We’re taking that away but we haven’t solved the underlying problem." He said anything less than the $600 weekly benefit could have a serious, detrimental impact to the average American household budget. "Unless the virus goes away, they are going to have to come up with something else," said Roling. "This is a car that's about to drive off the cliff."

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