©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Worst to First: New Job Service Quickly Becomes Nation's Best. Reorganized System Moves State from 53 to 1 in One Month

Monday, July 06, 1998

John Truscott
(517) 335-6397

Governor John Engler announced today that Michigan's new employment service system has quickly become the nation's best. A new survey of the first month's system participants found that 39 percent got jobs within 90 days, versus less than 9 percent under the old system. That success rate makes Michigan's new system the best in the United States in helping job seekers find work. Prior to Engler's changes, which took place on February 2, the U.S. Employment Service Annual Report ranked Michigan 53rd in the nation, with only Rhode Island faring worse, in finding people jobs. The new success rate would rank Michigan first in the nation. "We fought to reform this system because the old ideas weren't working anymore. In 1996, only 8.6 percent of people who came to us for help found jobs. We could no longer condone failure, so we made the tough choice to improve," Engler said. "We now have the nation's best employment service system. The results speak for themselves, especially for people who have found jobs and will continue to do so utilizing the new system." Among those on unemployment insurance (UI), the improvement was even more profound. In 1996, Michigan had 105,672 UI claimants looking for work. Of those, only 4,586, or 4.34%, found a job after 90 days under the old system. Under the new system, 44% found jobs, a 1,000 percent improvement. "We knew if we were able to eliminate the bureaucracy of the old system and take advantage of new technologies, we would be able to serve more people and help them find jobs. These numbers prove that we were correct," said Governor Engler. "By focusing on connecting workers with employers, we'll be able to find more men and women jobs than ever before." Veterans did equally well under the new system, with the success rate improving from 9 percent under the old system to 39 percent. Staffing for providing veterans job services is increasing dramatically under the new plan. The figures come from a survey of 1,165 people who have used the new system. Customer satisfaction was also high, with 65 percent of job seekers indicating they'd use the system again in the future. The state's new Employment Service system is free to employers and job seekers and is located online at http://michworks.org. Any Michigan resident needing assistance finding work, or any business looking for workers, can also call their local Michigan Works! Service Center at (800) 285-WORKS.