Chamber Poll Informs Public Officials on Harsh Realities Workers Face

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The Detroit Regional Chamber recognizes that as public officials make decisions on when and how to transition Michiganders back to work, it’s important to understand the facts about what workers are up against, and their comfort with returning to work. That’s why the Chamber’s most recent statewide COVID-19 impact poll gives the State of Michigan insight into Michigan households across the state, and how the crisis is affecting different demographics.

The Chamber is providing public officials with the vital statistics that will inform state policy throughout this crisis and as the state prepares its plans to recover.

Economic Impact

The majority of respondents, 50%, believe Michigan is already in a recession. While 27% believe the state is not in a recession and 23% of respondents are not sure.

Among respondents that were working prior to COVID-19, 42.6% are now furloughed, laid off, or unable to work.

29% of total respondents report they are furloughed, laid off, or unable to work. Of this group:

  • 64% have filed for unemployment benefits
  • 36% have not filed for unemployment benefits

Of those that were working prior to the virus, 27.3% have filed for unemployment.

28% of respondents are worried about being able to put food on their table. Additionally, 28% are also worried about being able to pay their rent or mortgage. Some key points:

  • 54% of furloughed or laid off respondents are worried about putting food on their table
  • 54% of African American respondents are worried about putting food on their table
  • 45% of those aged 18 to 29 and 40% of those aged 30 to 39 are worried about putting food on their table

Transitioning Back to Work

When asked about how comfortable they feel about going back to work, more than half of respondents gave positive answers. Furloughed or unemployed workers and those who are working at home were asked if they would feel safe or not safe going back to their place of work:

  • 61% of these workers said they felt safe
  • 32% of these workers said they did not feel safe

Breaking down these numbers, most respondents are in the middle, either reporting feeling somewhat safe or somewhat unsafe.

  • 20% feel very safe
  • 41% feel somewhat safe
  • 25% felt somewhat unsafe
  • 7% felt very unsafe

For full survey results and background, click here.

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