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Gov. Whitmer Puts Economy First by Announcing Tax Credits to Help Small Businesses Fill Labor Gaps and Hire Michiganders


December 16, 2021  


Gov. Whitmer Puts Economy First by Announcing Tax Credits to Help Small Businesses Fill Labor Gaps and Hire Michiganders 

LANSING, Mich. - Governor Gretchen Whitmer announces tax credits up to $9,600 to help employers and small business owners hire Michiganders for good-paying jobs to help fill labor shortages and grow the economy. The governor is encouraging employers to apply for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, prioritizing funding for veterans and returning citizens, to ensure that the state continues its strong job growth after adding 67,000 jobs in the last three months and 145,000 jobs over the year.    

"The Work Opportunity Tax Credit puts Michiganders first by helping small businesses save money and fill labor gaps by hiring Michiganders for good-paying jobs," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "Thanks to this tax credit, we will be able to add even more jobs to the 145,000 jobs that we've created this year alone. Small businesses in communities across our state can save thousands of dollars for hiring workers who are seeking a good-paying job, including our veterans, those who have paid their debt to society, and others who are traditionally left out or left behind. We will continue finding ways to invest in small businesses and help them thrive as we usher in a new era of prosperity for Michigan." 

With the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, employers who hire from certain targeted groups, including qualified long-term unemployment recipients, can earn tax credits from $2,400 to $9,600 for each employee hired. Generally, the credit is 40% of qualified wages paid to individuals who work 400 hours or more in their first year of employment.   

"This program encourages employers to expand their hiring pool to applicants who are often overlooked, such as military veterans, returning citizens and others who traditionally are at a disadvantage in efforts to find employment," said Julia Dale, UIA director 

This is a one-time tax credit for each new hire. There is no limit to the number of new hires who can qualify an employer for the tax credit.   

Eligible worker categories include:   

  • Long- or short-term Temporary Assistance to Needy Families recipients  
  • Qualified veterans  
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients  
  • Designated Communities - Empowerment Zone and Rural Renewal County.  
  • Michigan Rehabilitation Services customers  
  • Returning citizens  
  • Supplemental Security Income recipients  
  • Qualified long-term unemployment recipients  

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about $1 billion in tax credits are claimed each year under this credit.   

Employers must apply for and receive a certification verifying that a new hire is a member of one of the target candidate groups before they can claim the tax credit.   

Employers interested in taking advantage of this tax credit are encouraged to visit the UIA Work Opportunity Tax Credit webpage to learn more and get started.