89.1 WEMU

COVID Named As Main Cause Of Michigan's 22.7 Percent Jobless Rate

May 21, 2020

A day at the Unemployment Office
Credit Bytemarks / flickr.com

Michigan lost more than a million jobs from March to April, largely due to COVID-19 related layoffs.  As we hear from Rick Pluta, that led to a record-setting 22.7% state unemployment rate.


That’s one in five workers without jobs.  And that number does not reflect people who are employed but working reduced hours.  Jason Palmer directs the state Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.  He says the job losses cut across all sectors of the economy, but especially manufacturing, retail, and hospitality.

“These are all industries that got hit really hard, some of them dropping by 50 percent.”

This number does NOT reflect the gradual lifting of executive orders and re-opening sectors of the economy.  Palmer says that will be at least partially reflected in the numbers that come out next month. 

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org